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Rainfall blamed for Ystalyfera landslide

Heavy rainfall has been blamed for the reactivation of a historic landslide at Pantteg in Ystelyfera, South Wales.

Ground movement on 22 December led to 13 homes being evacuated and the residents remain unable to access their homes as Neath Port Talbot Council (NPTC) has said that a survey of the area will not be possible until the New Year due to bad weather and continued instability.

NPTC director of environment John Flower said that tens of thousands of tonnes of mud, debris and vegetation had slid down the rock surface blocking the road and posing a danger to surrounding properties. He added: “Since Saturday the road drainage system has been cleaned out and electricity to the surrounding houses has been reinstated by Western Power Distribution.
“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 area. The welfare of residents and our staff remains a key priority.”

Flower said that the area had been affected by a number of landslides in the past and specialist consultants had already been commissioned to carry out a survey early in the New Year.

“The ground on the mountainside at Pantteg has been moving for more than 60 years,” he said. “However, the recent bad weather has reactivated landslide activity.”

Flower added that the council is monitoring the situation at Pantteg daily to assess and further ground movements.

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