Landslide threatens neighborhood in Orinda, one home already taken downhill

A landslide continues to threaten a beautiful hillside neighborhood in Orinda as crews work to see what can be done before there’s even more destructive movement. A magnificent house now lies at least thirty feet below where it was and in complete shambles.

A slow-moving landslide that began last Sunday night, now shows a home was literally pulled by gravity, down a hill, at least 30-feet down, doing so much damage, it was red-tagged as totally unsafe for habitation. The neighboring home, belonging to the Sebilia family, who are longtime residents, suffered damage. It was yellow tagged because it is precariously perched above other home's gaping maw. 

"Our driveway, I don't know if you've probably noticed, where it's all... that sort of…as of yesterday was sinking down there and they were watching as it moved kind of closer to our house, they said, and it was happening so quickly, they said, 'We don't know how far it's going. So, you can't stay here.’" said Albert Sebilia.

Neighbors are understandably concerned. "I'm totally astonished," said area resident Frank Darling, who also said, "My concern is, if you live on a hill, you could slide with all this rain." 

Richard Grant, another neighbor, said this, "For ourselves, we had a good geological survey, the ground lays flat like a card table. I'm sure there are a lot of homes around here that are similar to that one." 

"This is a little steeper than ours and we just reinforced our yard with a huge retaining wall, which, you hope helps," said Darling.

If a homeowner can prove that someone or something actually caused this landslide, then that should be a matter for the courts. But, as far as landslide insurance, that is virtually impossible to get.

"There have been other houses that have slightly slid where the town has been liable for it because they passed the approval for the home to be built," said Darling.

East Bay MUD says the slide is unlikely related to a known pre-slide leak and will be part of the investigation.

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