Mudslide forces evacuation of 6 homes in Burnaby's Westridge neighbourhood

Residents of six homes in the Westridge neighbourhood of Burnaby were evacuated Thursday after a retaining wall at a property in the 7300-block of Braeside Drive gave way in a mudslide.

According to a city spokesman, a five metre by 20 metre section of the wall came down at around 9 a.m., damaging a garage on the property below. No one was hurt.

"As a precautionary measure we emptied the houses in case of any further sliding of the slope or the remainder of the wall coming down," said Burnaby public works manager Brian Carter.

Carter says BC Hydro has disconnected a line feeding electricity to the hydro poles in the area. The neighbourhood where the slide happened is on the northwest side of Burnaby Mountain.

Shane MacKichan/CBC

"Some of the slide material has come to the bottom of one of the poles and we want to make sure that we protect the public by making sure that they are de-energized," he said.

City engineering staff and the Burnaby Fire Department are on the scene. A geotechnical engineer has been called in to assess if there is further risk to the area.

Residents were told it was safe to return to their homes later Thursday after the assessment was complete, said city spokesman Chris Bryan.

Power remains disconnected from several homes.

The city will begin removing soil from the lane and some sections of the retaining wall on Friday, he added. 

The cause of the wall failure has not yet been determined. 

Burnaby, like most of the South Coast, has been under a rainfall warning since Wednesday that has only recently been lifted.

Shane MacKichan/CBC