San Clemente residents evacuated after landslide occurs under apartment buildings

Some residents in San Clemente were evacuated Wednesday after a landslide caused major damage to four apartment buildings.

The landslide occurred around 8:20 a.m. in the 1500 block of Buena Vista, prompting evacuations for residents of a combined 20 units.

The hillside behind the buildings gave way, leaving parts of the structures seemingly teetering over the edge, officials with the Orange County Fire Authority said. 


No injuries were reported.

"I don't know how much rain we got, but there was an open bucket and the water was going over the top, so it had to have been 5 to 7 inches of water just last night," said building owner Clayton Robinson. 

Orange County sheriff's officials said four buildings were yellow-tagged, and city crews were on the scene to assess the structures. Later in the day, the homes were then red-tagged, meaning the buildings were too unstable to enter. 

"The biggest concern is that more land is going to come down, and so that's what we are assessing right now to see what the potential is moving forward," a spokesperson for the fire department said. 

Residents are urged to avoid the area.

Buena Vista remains closed from Avenida Florencio to Calle Colina, along with the beach trail below the landslide between North Beach and El Portal.