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Landslide forces residents to flee 2 condo buildings in Campbell River, B.C.


Two condominium buildings in Campbell River, B.C., were evacuated Tuesday night after a landslide drew police and firefighters to a waterfront neighbourhood south of the city's downtown core.

Approximately 30 residents were immediately displaced by the slide while many more were barred from entering the buildings on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported and damage appeared to be limited to an aboveground parkade behind one of the buildings at 738 South Island Hwy.

"It's hard to determine whether the building has been impacted by this but the parking structure has been impacted," acting city manager Drew Hadfield said in a media briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Emergency response officials continue to monitor the slope's stability and the city has hired a geotechnical engineer to survey the area.

The landslide occurred at approximately 7 p.m. behind 738 South Island Hwy and also affected a neighbouring condo building at and 758 South Island Hwy.

A subsequent slide was witnessed by firefighters approximately 30 minutes later, prompting the decision to evacuate the buildings.

A smaller slide in the same area Wednesday morning posed no immediate threat to residents, the city said in a release.

"We heard a crash in the back," evacuee Bruce Mathews told CTV News.

"I assumed it was the wind – something had come loose or was flying loose – and then there was a pounding at the door and that was the fire department telling us to evacuate."

Both buildings, known as Hillside Place and Beechwood Manor, were evacuated as a precaution.

The city says it cannot provide a timeline for residents to return home until after the geotechnical assessment is complete.

The engineer is expected to begin the assessment Thursday and may take several days to complete the work, according to Hadfield.

"It is still an active slide area until we determine otherwise," he said. "We will ensure that the building will not be occupied permanently until that is the case."

Evacuees were allowed temporary access to their homes on Wednesday afternoon to gather belongings before leaving for the remainder of the day.

Residents of the affected buildings were initially directed to a temporary reception centre at the Campbell River Baptist Church, located at 260 South Dogwood St.

A second reception centre for displaced residents was open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Centre.

Shaun Koopman, a coordinator with the Strathcona Regional District, says more than two dozen volunteers have collectively put in 110 hours of work to assist those displaced by the slide.

Hadfield thanked the evacuees for their co-operation in a statement posted to the Campbell River municipal website.

"I’d like to reassure residents that the situation is stable and thank the public for their patience as we respond to this incident," Hadfield said.

An alert about the landslide was issued via Alertable, an emergency notification system used by the City of Campbell River. Top Stories

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