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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Pennan residents able to return
Mud-splattered Pennan kitchen [Pic: Rod MacDonald]
The mud caused serious damage inside homes

The majority of residents of a coastal village hit by mudslides have been told it is safe for them to return home.

The mudslides caused by torrential rain forced the evacuation of Pennan in Aberdeenshire on Monday.

An engineer made a structural assessment of the affected cliffside on Wednesday afternoon.

Grampian Police and Aberdeenshire Council then decided that the owners of most of the properties affected would be told they could return.

However, there will be no water supplies to any properties until 0900 BST on Friday, and those residents choosing to return home will be supplied with bottled water.

Community meeting

A number of householders have also been warned that experts do not recommend they return until more clear up work has been done.

A community meeting has been arranged for 1900 BST on Thursday at Bracoden school, when an update will be given by council officers and a consultant. Representatives of Scottish Water and Grampian Police will also be invited to attend.

Council Chief Executive Alan Campbell said: "I am very pleased we have reached the end of this first stage of works at Pennan that have allowed the majority of householders to return to their properties.

"I would also like to say thanks to the householders, who have been so patient, council officers who have worked so hard to clear-up the village, and for the great co-ordination of Grampian Police, Scottish Water and everybody else who has been involved."

Hundreds of tonnes of mud have had to be cleared from Pennan after the severe landslides.

Pennan mudslide [Pic: Keith Bruce]

The interiors of many homes have also been left covered in mud.

Resident Rod MacDonald told the BBC Scotland news website: "I was shocked to see the level of destruction in my property. Thankfully no-one was injured."

The mudslide caused water and sewage problems, and Scottish Water said it had been working "round the clock" to restore the mains water supply to the village.

People who own properties in the village are being advised to get in touch with their insurance companies as quickly as possible, before beginning repair work.

Pennan, and its red phone box, found fame when it featured in the 1983 film Local Hero.

Officials hope all residents will be able to return soon

Clean-up begins in flood village
07 Aug 07 |  North East/N Isles
In pictures: Pennan flooding
06 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Floods and mud force people out
06 Aug 07 |  North East/N Isles
'Mudbath' farming show called off
06 Aug 07 |  North East/N Isles
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30 Mar 07 |  North East/N Isles

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