A landslide swept away a chunk of a millionaires’ row hilltop neighbourhood in California, destroying a home, damaging five others and opening up a 50-meter chasm in a four-lane road.
Officials ordered 111 homes in San Diego’s La Jolla neighbourhood to be evacuated.
No-one was hurt in yesterday’s collapse, which happened after city officials warned residents of four homes not to sleep in them because the land might give way.
The collapse, shortly before 9am local time, toppled power lines and left a 15ft-deep ravine of crumpled pavement.
Orange traffic cones and sections of big concrete pipes sat in the fissure slashing across the wide boulevard.
Holli Weld, walking her son to pre-school when the street collapsed, said: “It was sinking as I was walking by. The street was sinking before our eyes.”
Authorities said most residents had gone to work and only seven people were inside the homes when the collapse occurred.
The landslide cut a cone shape through the neighbourhood of million-dollar homes, said Robert Hawk, a city engineering geologist. Six homes were damaged or destroyed and two others were in danger, but the problems appeared to be contained.
At least three significant hillslides have occurred in the area between 1961 and 1994, including a major failure in 1961 that destroyed seven homes under construction.