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
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 8:15 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT