Palos Verdes Peninsula

12 Rolling Hills Estates homes evacuated due to canyon landslide

Homes in a canyon were destroyed when the ground shifted on the northern side of Los Angeles County's Palos Verdes Peninsula.

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A landslide forced the evacuation of 12 homes in Rolling Hills Estates, where houses and garages cracked and crumbled in a canyon area.

Residents on Peartree Lane noticed the land shift at about 4 p.m. Saturday on the north side of Los Angeles County's Palos Verdes Peninsula. Evacuations were ordered a short time later.  Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said homes in canyon were destroyed, pulled from their foundations as earth continued to move over the weekend.

"The land movement could be based on the excessive rains we had, or it could be some other thing that we're not aware of yet," said Pete Goodrich, a building official.

Deputies were sent to patrol the evacuated neighborhood, where about 16 people have been displaced. Some houses were on the verge of falling into the canyon.

Hahn tweeted several photos of the destruction.

“It is hard to see in this photo, but there are homes here in Rolling Hills Estates that are physically leaning -- like this garage -- following the landslide,” she tweeted. “Had the chance to speak to residents who are being evacuated. Everyone is safe but right now these homes are too unstable to enter. I've already spoken with our Public Works Director Mark Pastrella and (we) are offering the city and our residents our full support.”

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On Sunday afternoon, Hahn shared a discouraging update.

“Significant land movement overnight has completely destroyed the homes along a canyon on Peartree Lane here in Rolling Hills Estates,” she tweeted, along with photos showing some of the damage. “This is just devastating for these residents. My office is ready to offer any assistance we can provide to these families and the city."

Building and safety officials were at the site.

Electricity in the area was turned off Saturday and utility crews made sure no gas or power lines were disrupted, authorities said. 

The American Red Cross was helping to find shelter for the evacuated families.

It is unclear what caused the landslide.

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