3 Multimillion Dollar California Mansions Close to Falling Off Cliff Following Landslide

By: Georgia | Published: Feb 17, 2024

In Southern California’s Orange County, a landslide has put at least three coastal homes in a precarious position, threatening their stability and safety.

Reports have highlighted a dramatic scene in Dana Point where homes are now at risk of collapsing into the ocean. This event unfolded over the weekend when the cliffside they were built on crumbled.

Visual Evidence of the Danger

The Daily Mail reports that social media and news outlets have shared footage displaying one home in Dana Point hanging off the cliffside, partially suspended in the air, showcasing the immediate danger to these properties.

An aerial shot captures a residential area affected by a landslide. Several houses are seen along the top edge, with their backyards suddenly ending where the earth has collapsed. Below, a large swath of mud and debris stretches across the area

Source: Getty Images

Two other homes were shown to be dangerously close to the edge, with the camera capturing the gap left by the land that had fallen away when the cliff gave way.


Triggered by Heavy Rainfall

The landslide’s occurrence was linked to the heavy rains that hit Southern California earlier this month, Newsweek reports.

An aerial image shows a beachfront area with extensive silt and sand patterns fanning out into the sea

Source: ReedTimmerAccu/X

These conditions led to widespread landslides and flooding across the region, compounding the natural disaster challenges faced by the community. The collapse of part of the Dana Point cliff is a direct consequence of these severe weather events.

The High Stakes for Homeowners

The homes affected by this geological event are situated on Scenic Drive in Dana Point, known for its stunning ocean views.

A panoramic landscape depicting a clear view of a calm marina bordered by a long, curving breakwater

Source: Spencer Bergen/Unsplash

However, the beauty of this location is now overshadowed by the threat of disaster. Data from Redfin reveals that the value of the homes in Dana Point is estimated to be up to $15.9 million,  highlighting the significant financial implications for the homeowners, as reported by the New York Post.

No Immediate Response to Landslide

Despite the clear risk presented by the landslide, the Orange County Fire Authority informed ABC7 that it had not received any calls about the incident.

In front of a fire station, two rows of firefighters in blue uniforms are posed in a group photo between two red fire engines. The words "Orange County Fire Authority" are visibly written on the sides of the fire engines

Source: OCFireAuthority/X

This suggests a lack of immediate emergency response to the situation, leaving the affected homeowners in a state of uncertainty regarding their safety and the future of their properties.

Residents' Concerns and Reactions

Local residents and homeowners have expressed their anxieties regarding the stability of their homes.

Aerial view of luxury homes on the edge of an eroded cliff in Dana Point. The cliff has a significant portion missing

Source: Mike Sington/X

One homeowner assured ABC7 off-camera that his house was safe and had not been red-tagged by city authorities. Meanwhile, a longtime Dana Point resident, Jan Cocchiara, voiced his concern, stating, that he would be concerned if he resided in one of the homes.


Official Stance on the Situation

Following the landslide, the city of Dana Point announced that no further action would be taken in the area affected by the landslide.

This aerial image captures the dramatic scene of a home on the brink of an eroded cliff over the ocean. The cliff face has collapsed in several places

Source: GhazalAlarab/X

This decision has likely added to the worries of the community, as the lack of immediate remedial action leaves the future of the homes and their occupants in limbo.


Earthquake Adds to Community's Woes

Adding to the region’s natural disaster challenges, the Orange County community experienced an earthquake on February 9, Newsweek reports.

The image captures a view of a luxury home situated along an eroded coastal cliffside. The home features a large outdoor pool surrounded by lounge chairs, palm trees, and well-manicured lawns

Source: Derek Liang/Unsplash

The Orange County Fire Authority warned residents about possible aftershocks, increasing the anxiety among the community already dealing with the consequences of the landslide and the potential instability of their homes.


Insurance Coverage Insufficiencies

The recent heavy storms and subsequent landslides have revealed gaps in homeowners’ insurance coverage.

An aerial view showing the aftermath of a landslide on a residential street. Two houses with orange-tiled roofs are visibly damaged; one has partially collapsed into the gaping hole created by the landslide

Source: Getty Images

CNN reported that only 1 percent of the 7.7 million households in the counties affected by the storms were able to make claims on flood damage, demonstrating the financial vulnerabilities faced by homeowners in the wake of natural disasters.


The Fate of the Cliffside Homes

The landslide has left the three multimillion-dollar homes in a vulnerable position, with their stability and future uncertain.

Aerial view of multiple large houses on the edge of a steep, eroded cliff overlooking the ocean. The cliff face shows significant landslide activity with exposed earth, and one house appears to be perilously close to the cliff's edge

Source: MarioNawfal/X

Engineering crews were assessing the structural integrity of the homes, which are the only three set on the cliffside. The residents have been advised to remain vigilant and prepare for the possibility of relocation, according to the Daily Mail.


Expanding Instability: San Clemente's Closures

The Daily Mail reports that in a related development, recent landslides along the oceanfront bluffs in San Clemente, a few miles away from Dana Point, have led to the closure of beach trails, particularly in the northern part of the town.

A photo captured during twilight shows a row of multi-story condominiums perched atop a sandy cliff. Below the cliff, a railway track runs parallel to the coastline

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This move came as a precaution against the continuing instability of the area. Stairs leading down to the coastal path at Dije Court, El Portal, and Lasuen Beach have been closed off to the public.


Continuing Assessment and Uncertain Future

As the situation in Dana Point continues to evolve, the community and officials are assessing the impact and determining the best course of action.

The photo shows a bird's-eye view of luxury homes positioned dangerously close to the edge of an eroded cliff. The prominent erosion is visible beneath one house, showing a significant amount of the cliff face has collapsed

Source: GhazalAlarab/X

The landslides and the earthquake have put a spotlight on the challenges of living in such a picturesque yet potentially dangerous location. The future of the affected homes and their residents hangs in the balance, dependent on nature’s next move.