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Small mudslide reported in La Conchita; four homes evacuated [Updated]

December 22, 2010 |  1:27 pm

Four homes in La Conchita are being evacuated after a small mudslide was reported by local residents, Ventura County fire officials said.

The homes are in the 6900 block of Vista del Rincon Drive, said Ventura County fire dispatcher Robert Navarro. The mudslide covered an area of about 100 feet by 120 feet and had uprooted several trees, officials said. Little other information was available.

[Updated at 2:25 p.m.: Authorities expanded evacuations to four homes in La Conchita after initially only requiring residents from two homes to leave.

The Ventura County Fire Department has sent a geologist to the upper ridge of Rincon Mountain to inspect the ground movement and geologic conditions. Based on his report, authorities could order additional evacuations or declare that there's no immediate danger.

"We're making sure we take all precautions necessary without overreacting unnecessarily," said Ventura County Fire Division Chief Bryan Vanden Bossche.

The slide was reported at 11:30 a.m., he said.

The area is several blocks north of the previous large slides.]

La Conchita has been the site of two massive landslides in the last 15 years and is considered a high-risk area for mudslides during period of intense rainfall. In 2005, 10 people were killed and 14 injured when a hillside above the community's 166 homes gave way after days of storms. Fifteen homes were destroyed and 16 were declared uninhabitable. A decade earlier, residents narrowly escaped injury when waterlogged earth buried or damaged seven homes.

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-- Catherine Saillant

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