California buildings still in peril from tumbling cliff

About two dozen people who had to leave their apartments in Southern California because of a falling hill near the ocean were told Thursday that they might have to leave for good. Three clifftop apartment buildings and one nearby building in the coastal city of San Clemente in Orange County were red-tagged and evacuated Wednesday when the land started to shift and slide away from their backyards down a hillside because of heavy rains.

The government said there was no plan for when the slope would be stable enough for people to move back. During a news conference, Mayor Chris Duncan said, “I think everyone should realise that things are changing here.” “Another storm is coming, and the ground is still moving, so these buildings are still in danger.”

The National Weather Service said that Southern California could get more heavy rain at the beginning of next week. Twenty to thirty people had to leave their homes. On Thursday, some people were given a short time to move out of their homes. Orange County was added to a list of places where natural disasters have caused a lot of damage.

About 35 of California’s 58 counties are now included in the declaration. This means that the federal government can help the state and local governments deal with a string of strong winter storms.

California has been hit by 11 atmospheric rivers in a nearly nonstop series. These rivers have caused floods and landslides, blown down trees, buried mountain residents in snow that has never been seen before, and brought down power lines, leaving thousands of people without power. Katrina Foley, who is in charge of Orange County, said that storm damage cost the county more than $4 million, and that number will go up.

News reports said that on Wednesday night in the city of La Habra, a sinkhole about 30 feet deep opened up next to a sinkhole that opened up in 2019 after heavy rain. The hole that was there before hasn’t been fixed yet. Some beaches in Southern California had to be closed because the sewage systems couldn’t handle the heavy rain and sent thousands of gallons of raw sewage into the sea. Ventura County closed beaches near the Santa Clara River after a sewer line broke and dumped about 148,000 gallons of sewage into the river, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. It was expected that the closures would last through the weekend or until tests showed that the bacteria levels were safe.