Landslip house evacuees face uncertainty

Residents forced to evacuate their Dunedin homes on Thursday still do not know when they will be allowed to return.

Four homes in St Clair, three in Motu St and one in Allandale Rd, remain off limits because they are considered by the Dunedin City Council to be dangerous or at risk.

Another resident in Motu St is  concerned he will also be forced to leave.A landslip under the Allandale Rd property  caused the house to slide off its foundations, breaking wastewater and stormwater pipes. A plumber  reconnected them yesterday.

A slip under an Allandale  Rd property (left) means it could slide down the hill and possibly...
A slip under an Allandale Rd property (left) means it could slide down the hill and possibly damage the three houses in Motu St below. Photo: Gerard O'Brien

There was a risk the two-storeyed house could slip  and damage the Motu St properties.

The Allandale Rd property’s owner was visibly upset when approached by the Otago Daily Times yesterday, reluctant to speak about what had happened but said he would fly to Tauranga yesterday to stay with friends.

"It’s hard enough to lose your home."

All the organisations, including the council, involved in the situation had been great to deal with, he said. Another man, living in Motu St, said he was worried his home would be next to receive a dangerous building notice.

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said the situation had not changed and there were still only four houses with dangerous building notices at this stage.

Residents had been allowed back in yesterday to remove more of their possessions but there was still no timeline for when they might be allowed to return home.

The council had found accommodation at a hotel for one of the residents, Mr Pickford said.

Engineers would likely be on site over the weekend  to establish what was happening in the area, he said.

Earthquake Commission head of response and recovery Robyn Nation said engineers carried out an inspection at two  properties in Motu St on Tuesday.

The commission’s role was to assess physical loss or damage to land and share geotechnical information with councils when applicable, Mr Nation said.

It was up to councils to determine if properties were safe to occupy and they alone had the legal authority to ask residents to evacuate, he said.

— Additional reporting George Block.

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