Most residents evacuate ahead of predicted landslide

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities in central Washington state have urged about 50 people to evacuate due to a slow-moving landslide that’s expected to break loose by the end of February.

KING-TV reports in a story on Friday that about 80 percent of those living near Thorp Road below Rattlesnake Ridge near Yakima have taken that advice and left.

A geologist hired to study growing cracks on the ridge estimates up to 1 million cubic yards (0.76 million cubic meters) of rock and soil could move down the ridge in a landslide.

But most of the material would be trapped in a quarry and not reach Interstate 82 or the Yakima River.

Washington State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meagan Lott says the slide is moving about 1.4 feet (0.4 meters) each week.