Cumbria; Parton landslide forces families from their homes

Fourteen homes have been evacuated following a landslide which could close the main village road for six months.

Cracks began to appear in the large hill behind houses in Parton, west Cumbria, after heavy rain.

Cumbria County Council has stopped traffic from using Main Street because of “the likelihood of danger to the public” and said safety was a “priority”.

It is not known when the residents will be allowed to return to their homes.

The crack has opened up about 20ft (6m) from Andrew Barton’s home.

He was away staying with family nearby when he saw pictures of the landslide on social media last night.

He said: “Potentially not getting back into the house for six months is unthinkable really, we’d have to put things in place and it’s mind-boggling.

“We’ll cope but it’s not ideal with the children going to school in September and we’ve got pets, we’ll just have to deal with it.

“I hope it doesn’t get any worse and we can come back to our home as quickly as possible.”

People were told to leave their homes between 22:00 and 23:00 BST on Wednesday.

It is not known how long it will take experts to assess the risks and carry out land assessments.

Cumbria County Council said the immediate priority was “ensuring public safety”.

It added the “implications” for St Bridget’s school, the children’s play area and houses in the path of the landslip were being “carefully considered” and families would be kept informed.

A council spokesperson said: “Overnight, fourteen properties have been evacuated as a precaution and road and footpath closures are currently in place as a precautionary measure.

“People who have been displaced are being supported where required and this support involves district, county council and NHS officers working together with those affected locally.”

Cumbria Police has asked people to avoid the area while a number of agencies carry out their investigations.