Skip to main content

Massive landslide threatens Washington state homes

By CNN Staff
updated 6:57 AM EDT, Thu March 28, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Resident talks about the old views, current concerns
  • Geologists are on their way to Whidbey Island to investigate
  • The landslide destroyed one home, threatens more than a dozen others
  • Officials have not reported any injuries; area is prone to landslides

(CNN) -- A massive landslide in Washington has destroyed one home and threatens more than a dozen others, an official and CNN affiliates in the Seattle area reported Wednesday.

One home has only about 10 feet of its backyard left after the slide on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, CNN affiliate KIRO reported. That home's resident was able to escape, said Ed Hartin, fire chief at Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue.

No injuries have been reported.

The landslide cut access to 17 homes, and residents have been taken out by boat, Hartin said. Others area homes also were evacuated.

Landslide 'sounded like an earthquake'
34 homes threatened by landslide
Homeowner: We're feeling nervous

Live video showed small sections of the cliff continuing to fall at 10:45 a.m. local time as people removed furniture and other belongings. Tons of earth had fallen into Puget Sound.

Richard Barker, who lives about 500 feet south of the landslide, told CNN on Wednesday he does not currently plan to leave his home.

"However, the Red Cross has told us they will let us know if we need to evacuate," Barker told CNN.

"We're feeling a little bit nervous. We've got a beautiful view and we'd hate to see our view and house head into the ocean."

According to Barker, the neighborhood had above-average rainfall over the winter and into spring. A snowfall late last week left several inches of wet snow that was gone.

The homes are on a seismic fault that on rare occasions shifts, said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

Barker said the cliff has not seen movement for many years. "We just thought OK, that is something you pay for the marvelous view that you have."

Fire officials first received a call about the slide shortly after 4 a.m., Hartin said. Residents reported hearing a sound like thunder around the time of the slide, CNN affiliate KING-TV reported.

A spokesman with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources said a team of geologists is on its way to Whidbey Island to investigate.

The cause of the landslide was not immediately clear. There hasn't been rain in the past few days, said Hartin.

Recent deadly landslides in: Indonesia, China, Peru

CNN's Justin Lear contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 5:16 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The Vice-Principal of Danwon High School was rescued from sinking ferry last week. Two days later he took his own life, wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 2:29 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The world's most memorable accommodations don't always come with five stars. Sewer pipe hotel, anyone?
updated 10:01 PM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Love eating? Money? Appreciate efficient population density? HK might be the city for you.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 9:32 AM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 8:14 PM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT