More homes have been evacuated in Rolling Hills Estates as a devastating landslide continues to hit residents of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Five additional homes have been placed under mandatory evacuation by officials, bringing the total to 17 after onesaid City Mayor Britt Huff.
In the days since, those homes are almost completely destroyed and collapsing as the land continues to give way along Peartree Lane, which borders a canyon in the area.
While land movement appears to have slowed, a burst in a sewer line led to five additional evacuations on Tuesday.
“This sewer break is due to land movement, but not the movement of the newly evacuated housing units,” said an update on the City of Rolling Hills Estates website. “Newly evacuated residents are being helped to find shelter and the city has been in direct contact with all of them.”
At the time of the first evacuations late Saturday night, 16 residents were given just 20 minutes to pack before being forced to leave their homes.
City leaders Tuesday night declared a local emergency that will provide additional access to resources and money to address the situation through the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES).
“The estimated cost of responding to the Peartree Lane Land Movement Incident is unknown at this time due to the evolving nature of the situation,” said a staff report prepared for the council meeting.
Geologists and specialists have been called to the scene to investigate the land movement, but there is still no known cause of the large landslide as of yet.
According to Anthony Marrone, chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, crews are still closely monitoring 16 other homes as the situation develops.
“We don’t know how long these houses will keep moving,” he said. “Right now it’s just a waiting pattern that we’re waiting to see what the final decision will be.”
On Monday, Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang said his office would work closely with residents to make sure they are not forced to pay property taxes on their homes or properties that have been destroyed.
Rolling Hills Estates is a gated community on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, approximately 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.