Del Dios Homes in Newer Development Evacuated After Signs of Earth Moving

Homes less than 18 months old in jeopardy after massive cracks appear in the street, driveways and sidewalks.

Three homes in a Del Dios development near Lake Hodges were evacuated after the earth beneath them started moving.

Behind security gates is a newer development called Cielo, which in Spanish means sky, appropriately named for its magnificent views from million-dollar mansions built on steep hilltops.

But the earth beneath at least three of them is starting to shift.

In the 18000 block of Avenida Apice, cracked sidewalks and pavements forced evacuations.

"We are getting an arcuate failure or pull away service where this mass of earth is being pulled by gravity down slope,” geologist Dr. Pat Abbott said.

Abbott told NBC 7 such slides are home destroyers. They are slow-moving, but still dangerous.

"If it cracks a natural gas line, you can asphyxiate and that has happened,” Abbott said.

Rancho Santa Fe fire inspectors examined the damage and homeowners were told to move out.

By most accounts, the cracks showed up just in the last week-and-a-half. These are properties worth millions of dollars, built just in the last 18 months. They are situated on a steep slope high above Lake Hodges.

"Hills are equilibrium situations. Gravity is trying to pull them down all the time that equilibrium can be upset by that development of just by heavy rains like we've had,” Abbott said.

The cause of the sinking has not been identified.

San Diego County Works Department spokesman Mike Workman said the developer is Taylor Morrison.

NBC 7 left message with the company Monday afternoon but did not immediately hear back.

So far, just the three properties are showing signs the earth is moving, but neighbors are also feeling a little on edge.

It was after NBC 7 reached out to officials, the fire department asked the county to inspect the property for the damage.

Workman said crews will be out there first thing Tuesday morning.

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