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Residents evacuated after landslide damages three homes in Los Angeles

Residents evacuated after landslide damages three homes in Los Angeles (AP)
Residents evacuated after landslide damages three homes in Los Angeles (AP)

Several people were evacuated after a landslide damaged at least three homes in Los Angeles, firefighters have said.

Responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to reports of a large tree and wires down in the backyard of a residence, in the Sherman Oaks neighbourhood of the city, in the early hours of Wednesday.

Crews arrived to find a large portion of a hillside had slid down toward at least three homes, and evacuated several people. No injuries were reported.

According to the LAFD, no patients were discovered in a preliminary search or a more thorough follow-up search at daybreak. The department added that the Department of Building and Safety was responding to assess the structures and hillsides.

Helicopter video showed the extent of the destruction of one of the houses, which appeared to be in the midst of a renovation. The building was crushed with most of its roof lying on the ground.

The LAFD responded to reports of a large tree down and wires down in the backyard of a residence in the early hours of Wednesday (AP)
The LAFD responded to reports of a large tree down and wires down in the backyard of a residence in the early hours of Wednesday (AP)

Other footage of the scene shared online by local outlets showed a pool house and pool that sustained significant damage with large cracks on the ground. The hillside near the pool of another home down the street had completely dropped off, exposing the cliff below.

Crews pumped the water out of the pool to reduce the stress on the hillside. LAFD spokesman Cody Weireter later described the damage that was left behind.

“One of the homes actually had their swimming pool damaged and basically almost exploded,” he said.

Mr Weireter told Eyewitness News. “You have a large debris of mud, vegetation, trees... and rocks and concrete just come down into one of the homes which was under construction.

“A portion of one of the homes’ outdoor pool area has actually separated from that main foundation, and so obviously that’s one of our biggest concerns right now.”

The landslide in Sherman Oaks occurred on Wednesday (AP)
The landslide in Sherman Oaks occurred on Wednesday (AP)

One of the homes damaged by the slide was under renovation and had to be red-tagged. Another damaged home, from which three adults were evacuated, was yellow-tagged.

“For the home that was severely damaged [red-tagged], nobody was home at the time,” Mr Weireter said. “We’re looking to hopefully get those folks back into their homes at some point this morning.”

There was no immediate word on the cause of the landslide, but numerous slides have happened in Southern California due to drenching winter storms that saturated the ground.

The exact cause of the slide is unknown, though the neighbourhood received heavy rain in recent days and last week.

Since 1 January, downtown LA has had almost 16 inches of rain, which is nearly twice what it normally gets by this time of year. By early February, the city had reported nearly 600 mudslides, had re-tagged 16 buildings as unsafe to enter and had yellow-tagged more than 30 others, limiting access to them.

Southern California has seen a lull in storms in recent days, but slides and rockfalls have continued. Sections of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and State Route 27 through Topanga Canyon west of Los Angeles have been especially hard-hit.