People affected by a landslide in the Swansea Valley have decided to stay in their homes while the clear-up continues, despite being advised to leave by the authorities. Thousands of tonnes of rock have slipped down the hillside near Ystalyfera.
The council says there's a danger of further landslip, and repairs will have to proceed slowly. Our correspondent Richard Morgan has more.
Neath Port Talbot Council has again told residents of eight homes in Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley not to return to their houses, nearly two weeks after a landslide forced them out, days before Christmas. Many have ignored that advice and are already back home.
Specialist engineers have now carried out an initial survey of the hillside where it happened, and confirmed the council's assessment that there remains 'a risk of further landslip occurring in the area.'
Neath Port Talbot Council has announced that it will carry out urgent safety work at landslide site in Ystalyfera over the next few days.
The council has continued to urge the eight households affected not to return to their homes as the risk of a further slippage still exists.
Specialist engineers have surveyed 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.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Director of Environment, John Flower, says the emphasis continues to be on safety and caution.
“This is a very delicate and complicated situation. We have to be extremely careful that any clearance work does not make the situation worse. There are thousands of tons of rock, debris and vegetation which have moved on the hillside so everything we do has to be carefully assessed and planned.”
The Council is again appealing for the public to continue to stay away from the area of the landslide.
Council officers will spend another day examining a street in Ystalyfera in the Swansea Valley after a landslip on 22 December. 13 homes were evacuated after safety fears. But this weekend a number of residents moved back, against advice.
The council says it will be there to assess any further ground movements today and on New Year's Day - but that bad weather is hampering its efforts, and with the ground so unstable it has to be made safe before engineers can work on it.
Neath Port Talbot Council has warned residents in an Ystalyfera street to stay away after a landslide last weekend. But a number of them have gone back into their homes as they didn't want to spend Christmas away. Nicola Hendy reports.
Neath Port Talbot Council says it is continuing to work with local residents and businesses to help the people affected by a landslide on Saturday 22 December. 22 people in 13 properties were advised to evacuate.
Specialist consultants will carry out a survey on the ground early in the New Year.
The bad weather is hampering survey work. Currently the ground is unstable so we have to ensure that the area is safe before engineers can enter. The welfare of residents and our staff remains a key priority.
– John Flower, Director of Environment at Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
Kain Scott has returned to his home in Ystalyfera. Neath Port Talbot Council sent him, and many others, a letter saying 'it is the Council's strong advice that you should vacate your property until further notice' - but he says 'it's not as easy as that' and he's worried about being burgled.
Andrew Annear's house is just metres from where the landslide happened. He was at home last week and heard rocks falling. He has been forced to stay with friends, and can now only go back to check on his home by climbing up steep and unstable ground.