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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 June, 2005, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Landslide hits Californian homes
Homes damaged by a landslide in Laguna Beach, California
Around 350 homes have been evacuated
A landslide in southern California has destroyed 18 luxury houses causing alarm but no serious injuries.

Residents of Laguna Beach in Orange County were alerted to the landslide at 0700 (1100 GMT) on Wednesday by the sound of cracking wood.

Some residents could be seen fleeing their homes in their pyjamas, carrying possessions and their pets.

The landslide follows the heaviest winter rains in over a century in southern California.

"The pipes started making funny noises and the toilet sounded like it was about to explode," said Carrie Joyce, one of those who fled.

"We had to run for our lives," said another resident Jill Lockhart.

"I don't know how everyone got out alive."

About 350 homes in the area have been evacuated while officials determine whether further slippages are likely.

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