NEATH Port Talbot Council chiefs have been assessing further damage caused to a landslide in Ystalyfera by heavy rain.

Specialist engineers have been surveying the hillside to advise on how and when work can start on clearing the landslide in the Pantteg area.

Heavy rain since Christmas and over the New Year period has caused further movement of mud and debris resulting in parts of the hillside continuing to be unstable.

NPT Council’s director of environment, John Flower, said it was “a very delicate and complicated” situation.

“We have to be extremely careful that any clearance work does not make the situation worse,” he said. “There are thousands of tons of rock, debris and vegetation which have moved on this hillside so everything we do has to be carefully assessed and planned.”

A large storage container, moved by the landslide, is still causing concern and the council is in contact with its owner regarding its removal.

Urgent safety work is being carried out, but the occupants of eight households have been urged not to return to their homes as the risk of a further slippage still exists.

“Originally, residents living in 13 properties directly affected by the incident were advised to evacuate their homes.

Following a review, this advice was changed to 10 affected properties, two of which are empty,” said a spokesman.

“Our advice continues to be that the eight households should not return to their homes,” said Mr Flower.

“We’ve been contacting them and it’s important we stay in touch so we can keep them updated on any progress and to assess their ongoing needs.

Therefore we’re asking them to give us a call on 01639 685219.”

The council is again appealing for the public to continue to stay away from the area.