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17 December 2011

Landslide in New Zealand on Saturday, 17 December, 2011 at 04:56 (04:56 AM) UTC.

Image: Google Earth (Click on image for larger view.)

A large landslide caused several clifftop homeowners to be evacuated in Oakura this morning. An estimated 400 cubic metres of dirt came down onto the Taranaki town's holiday camp about 5.30am, following heavy overnight rain. In the Oakura Beah Holiday Park, three cabins, one of them occupied, and several motor vehicles were dislodged by the slide. Nobody was injured. New Plymouth District Council contractors were on the scene cleaning up debris and assessing the safety of clifftop homes on Jans Tce this morning. Homeowners were asked to leave their properties while safety tests were carried out but are now allowed back in their homes. Fulton Hogan contract manager Wayne Murray said he expected clean up work would take a couple days before any remedial work could be carried out. Holiday park lessees Al and Jan Rawlinson said there had been torrential rain overnight, the heaviest they could remember in 10 years in the town. NPDC parks programmes manager Steve McGill said an investigation into what had caused the slip would be carried out, but could take up to a week to finish.