Landslide destroys California homes as significant ground movement threats continue

Rain can cause landslides in California when saturated grounds break free and begin to slide. The National Weather Service Office hasn't recorded any measurable rain at nearby Torrance Airport in the past 10 days or for most of June.

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, California – Several homes were destroyed over the weekend when a landslide on a California hillside community pulled the homes off their foundations. 

FOX 11 Los Angeles reports the problem first became known when the Los Angeles County Fire Department received a call for a water leak at a home on Peartree Lane in the Rolling Hills Estates neighborhood. 

Emergency crews noticed cracks and structural damage to the home, which led to the evacuations of 16 residents on the street.

Janice Hahn, the chair of the Executive Office of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, said 12 homes in Rolling Hills Estates were evacuated.

Over the weekend, significant movement continued pulling some of the homes off their foundations, according to Hahn.

"In my opinion, the land continues to move very quickly," Hahn told FOX 11 Los Angeles. "Since I've been here, I've been told the land has moved 6 feet."

Several homes along Peartree Lane were completely destroyed.

"This is just devastating for these residents," Hahn said.

The exact cause of the sliding hillside is unknown. Officials said it could be caused by heavy rainfall.

The National Weather Service Office in Los Angles hasn't recorded any measurable rain at nearby Torrance Airport in the past 10 days or for most of June.

Rainfall won't contribute to the problem in southern California anytime soon.

Los Angeles County is in the midst of a heat wave, and the FOX Forecast Center isn't tracking any significant rainfall as a high-pressure system begins to build into the Pacific coast.

Landslides can be caused by rains when water runoff soaks into the ground, and a layer of water-soaked soil breaks free and begins to slide.

The land continues to move Monday, but the evacuations have not been expanded beyond 12 homes.

Los Angeles Building and Safety officials and emergency crews continue to monitor the situation.