Sussex seaside town's residents evacuated as major landslide rips through homes 'like a piece of paper'

St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

Emergency services have evacuated residents

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 17/11/2023

- 10:14

Updated: 17/11/2023

- 11:33

Families in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex have been told to leave their homes

Residents in a seaside town have been forced to evacuate their homes after a huge landslip has caused buildings to "tear open like a piece of paper".

Emergency services have evacuated people living in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, amid fears their homes could be destroyed.

On Wednesday evening, East Sussex Fire & Rescue were called to reports of a landslip affecting the seaside town.

It comes after ealier this month, 12 houses were evacuated following two other landslides.

Rockslide sign

Residents fled after fears that their homes could be destroyed


A local resident told the BBC that a historic Victorian building had been "absolutely destroyed" because of the landslide.

The local described the building which used to be used as a billards room as "engulfed with loose mud and concrete".

Another described the historic building being "torn open like a piece of paper".

They said that it was a "perilous situation" after "huge lumps" of rubble were "thundering down" onto the ground below.


Others have been left frightened and feeling unsafe after the landslide.

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue said: "We were called at 8.39pm to reports of a landslip between Marina at the bottom of a cliff and West Hill Road at the top of a cliff in St Leonards.

"Crews liaised with the local council and building control experts. A number of properties at the top of the cliff were evacuated."

Hastings Borough Council said officials have been at affected areas with structural engineers and emergency services.

"We are now waiting for a full report from the structural engineers and risk assessments have been carried out to ensure the safety of residents," a spokesman for the council said.

Landslide in the UK

Earlier this month, 12 houses were evacuated following two earlier landslides (not pictured)

Wikimedia Commons

They said that the three people that were affected have been offered temporary accommodation.

Hastings Borough Council added that it does not own the land.

They advised residents to speak to their insurance companies and landlords.

On November 5, two landslides swept the seaside town.

The first landslide happened between West Hill Road and Marina, St Leonards, at about 1:32am, and the second occurred nearby just before 9.00pm.

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