Australia Beachfront Homes In Danger Of Collapsing Into Ocean As Weather Caused Erosion

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NSW, Australia beachfront erosion
An aerial view of the coastal erosion to local homes in the suburb of Wamberal on July 17, 2020 in Central Coast, Australia. Beachfront homes along the NSW Central Coast are at risk of collapse due to beach erosion after huge swells hit the states beaches on Thursday. James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Beachfront homes in New South Wales, Australia are in danger of collapsing into the ocean after a coastal storm triggered an erosion of the shoreline. 

Residents of more than 40 luxury homes along Wamberal in Australia’s central coast, north of Sydney have evacuated after 40-foot waves severely eroded the cliffs where the houses stand. The severe weather has washed away the land underneath the properties.

The multimillion-dollar homes sit on a cliff above the water, and days of strong swells have caused the land to crumble, CNN noted. Balconies and porches of some homes have already partially collapsed. These have been considered “at risk” and owners were given two hours to pack their belongings before being asked to fully evacuate. 

It’s not yet clear when the residents will be allowed back to their homes, but local officials are providing crisis accommodations to evacuees. Some residents have shown frustration over the Central Coast Council’s alleged insufficient action after raising their concerns about the erosion. 

"We can't protect our own homes at our cost -- the council doesn't want to do anything," a resident told 9News

"We've got no trust in them. It's pretty hard to trust someone when for over a decade they've been letting people down."

In a press release, the Central Coast Council “acknowledged the severe weather had caused great distress to residents.” It added the homeowners are free to take “any coastal engineer-designed actions” to protect their properties. 

Moreover, an Emergency Operations Centre has been set up to help coordinate efforts from the police, state emergency and other government agencies in responding to the local disaster. 

“This is a not a time for blaming each other – it is a time for us to work together to deliver long-term solutions for the Coast, including for those who have been so terribly impacted by this event,” Mayor Lisa Matthews said in a statement. 

NSW coast has a long history of coastal erosion and storm events have long caused land erosion affecting properties since 1857, Geoscience Australia noted.

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