(Updates with at least six homes damaged, city geologist
By Mary Milliken
LA JOLLA, Calif Oct 3 At least six homes were
damaged or destroyed on Wednesday in a landslide that toppled
power poles and left a 50-yard (metre) long sinkhole in the
scenic southern California town of La Jolla.
No injuries were reported but dozens of residents were
evacuated from the area of million dollar plus homes in
unstable mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The sliding section of hillside, which has been prone to
slippages for 40 years, measured about 48,000 square feet
(4,500 sq m) when it came to rest after an hour.
"It is fairly well defined and localized. As far as the
whole road or mountain going down, we don't have an indication
of that," San Diego city geologist Rob Hawke told reporters.
Hawke said about six homes were damaged, with potential for
more. Fire officials said about 24 homes in the beach town
north of San Diego could be at risk.
"We do not believe there is an immediate threat to
residents," San Diego city attorney Michael Aguirre told
As the land shifted, resident Ross Clark wrote on a
newsblog on the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper Web site that
he was "looking at the mountain going into my pool and the
neighbor's house. ... I heard the fence starting to crack. I
heard a tree coming down. We grabbed the dogs and ran."
The area has a history of land slippages going back to the
1960s. New street cracks and waterline breaks were noted in
July and August, and engineers had warned residents this week
that the hillside was again unstable.
Weather was not thought to be a factor in the landslide.
Southern California is experiencing a drought with record low
rainfall over the past year.