4 Jun 2013

Slip residents allowed to get essentials

8:25 pm on 4 June 2013

Some residents affected by a major slip in Wellington have been allowed back into their homes to collect essentials.

More than 100 people in the suburb of Kingston had to be evacuated early on Saturday morning when a hillside gave way. The slip left three properties in Priscilla Crescent precariously perched on a cliff and destroyed a large water main. The houses may have to be demolished.

Wellington City Council's network manager said its infrastructure team have been working to install portable pumps to divert stormwater so rain on Tuesday does not make the slip worse.

Michael Stavros said people from five affected homes have been let in, but others have not been allowed in for safety reasons.

Geotech engineers and council building inspectors are still investigating what caused the slip.

Alysha Akula lives one of the homes badly affected in Priscilla Crescent and said it has been an exhausting ordeal.

Ms Akula has not been allowed into the cordoned-off property and is mostly missing textbooks she needs for upcoming exams.

She says the council has put residents up in a motel and they have been kept well informed by it and Civil Defence.

Meanwhile, GNS Science engineering geologist Chris Massey told Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme it is too sensational to say some Wellington suburbs are a time bomb, but there are some areas that will be unstable in earthquakes or rainstorms.

Work continued at the slip site on Tuesday.

Work continued at the slip site on Tuesday. Photo: RNZ