| SEATTLE, March 27
SEATTLE, March 27 A landslide thundered through
a subdivision in Washington state's Whidbey Island north of
Seattle on Wednesday, destroying one home and threatening more
than 30 others, a fire official said.
"It looks like a giant shovel pulled the hill down to the
water," said Central Whidbey Fire Chief Ed Hartin. "We heard a
lot of rumbling and snapping of trees."
The landslide hit the Ledgewood Beach community about 50
miles (80 km) north of Seattle at 4:15 a.m. local time, knocking
one house off its foundation and destroying a road, Hartin said.
Authorities rescued 12 residents from nearly 20 homes in the
area that were cut off when a road was damaged by the landslide,
Another 17 homes were evacuated because they were left
unsafe or uninhabitable by the disaster, he said. None one was
injured, he added.
The homes in the Ledgewood Beach area are a mix of
year-round and vacation properties that sit high on a bluff
overlooking the waters of the Puget Sound.
A local home owned by Microsoft Corp Chief
Executive Steve Ballmer did not appear to be immediately
threatened, Hartin said.
A county geotechnical engineer was evaluating how long
residents would be forced to stay out of their homes.
"This is an area that has experienced a few landslides in
the past," Hartin said.
The area has not experienced recent heavy rains, he said.