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Landslide in Southern California rips houses off foundations, threatens to sink 12 homes into canyon

Videos and photos show a neighborhood in Rolling Hills Estates with caved-in roofs and garages and significant damage to front lawns and sidewalks.
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A landslide over the weekend prompted the evacuation of a dozen homes in a Southern California neighborhood that were at risk of collapsing into a canyon, officials said.

The landslide occurred Saturday in Rolling Hills Estates, a city about 25 miles south of Los Angeles.

Video tweeted by the Los Angeles County Fire Department showed homes on Pear Tree Lane, some with roofs and garages caved in. Sidewalks and front lawns were significantly damaged, the video showed.

Janice Hahn, the chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, tweeted pictures from the neighborhood and said: "Homes have been pulled off their foundations. The land is continuing to move, but the evacuation order continues to be limited to these 12 homes.”

In another tweet, Hahn said "there are homes here in Rolling Hills Estates that are physically leaning — like this garage— following the landslide.”

NBC Los Angeles reported the landslide occurred on the north end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Sixteen people were displaced from their homes, the station reported.

The American Red Cross was assisting displaced residents.

Rolling Hills Estates officials said in a statement Monday afternoon that no additional homes have been affected and that its City Council will declare a state of emergency to secure federal and state resources.

“The outpouring of support from our community has been amazing over these past few days. Not just from within Rolling Hills Estates, but from our neighboring cities and our elected officials at the County and State levels,” Mayor Britt Huff said in a statement. “It has been truly inspiring to see how everyone is pulling together to offer assistance, especially to our displaced residents and their families.”

The neighborhood is closed to the public but open to residents, the statement said. Utilities are off in the area to minimize potential hazards, city officials said.

It is unclear what caused the landslide. Pete Goodrich, a Rolling Hills Estates building official, told NBC Los Angeles excessive rain might have been the primary factor.

Some homes that were not evacuated had their gas turned off to prevent accidents, Goodrich told The Associated Press.