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Encino house expected to fall in on itself

February 12, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
City engineers and geologists were back in Encino Tuesday to decide whether or not to demolish a house that's cracked in half.The house is located on the 15000 block of Skytop Road.

The hillside underneath the house has not stabilized at all according to officials. The property is continuing to slip and the house is disintegrating.

On Monday a back wall and patio slab were tilting and were in tact. Overnight both structures collapsed.

"The reports I received were that over the course of a 24 hour period that the hillside slipped approximately 12 feet. This morning with the transition of our crews on scene and new marks on the ground within a six hour period of time we are experiencing that consistent rate of slippage. Whether that continues or not remains to be seen," said Asst. Chief Tim Manning, L.A. City Fire Dept.

Authorities say that six homes, down the hill from the path of the slide, were evacuated Sunday night. Two of the homes were red tagged. Residents of three of the homes have not been able to return. Officials say that if the situation improves two of the three residents at the bottom of the hill would be allowed to reoccupy their homes.

The threat of a catastrophic landslide remains high in the neighborhood. City engineers and geologists surveyed the damage Tuesday to try to decide what to do next.

"Are function is basically to map what is here. Other people take that information and they'll draw their conclusions from that and how to repair it. They'll look at the best way it approach a demolition so there are no problems," said Mike Amormoso, a surveyor.

The owners of the house left Sunday night and have not been seen since. Neighbors say the home, that was built in the late 1940s, was damaged in the Northridge earthquake 14 years ago. They say no major repairs were ever made.

The cause of the slide still appears to be the accumulation of water, but the source still remains a mystery.

"We have not come up with a definitive answer as to exactly what caused the slippage of this property," said Chief Richard Marcodo.

Officials say that if the hillside stops slipping completely, city engineers will reassess the property Wednesday.

 

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