Swansea Valley landslip concerns spoil Christmas for families
12:00pm Friday 4th January 2013 in Ammanford news
MORE than a dozen Swansea Valley families were left facing a bleak new year after being advised to evacuate their homes amid growing concerns over thousands of tonnes of unstable rock and soil.
At least 13 families have been urged to leave their properties after constant rain caused a landslip on a hillside above houses in the Panteg area of Ystalyfera.
Originally, 11 families were moved out of their homes on December 22 and sought shelter at a nearby sports centre.
Residents have since been able to return to check their possessions, but hopes of seeing in the festivities at home seemed unlikely after the local authority issued new warnings late last week.
Neath Port Talbot council said that the hillside remained unstable and that deteriorating conditions over the weekend were likely to have made the situation worse.
A spokesman for the authority said it had been impossible to carry out any work on the hillside before last Friday.
The authority’s environment director John Flower said: “What we have got there is slurry. The weather is not helping.”
The mountainside has been prone to landslips for decades, but the latest incident sawthousands of tonnes of waterlogged soil come to rest against properties and over around 200m of road.
Ashipping container and a white van came to rest hanging over the road, held up only by trees, while a property above the slip has been left precariously close to the edge of the drop.
“The condition of the materials is very fluid. The hillside is nigh on inaccessible and it’s unstable,” said Mr Flower.
“I would not see this situation changing until we get past the festive season.”