TIJUANA (Border Report) — Some residents of Tijuana’s Colonia de Rey have been told to leave their homes as a hillside behind the properties has been slowly collapsing.
Inspectors from the city’s civil protection unit have “red tagged” 15 houses, declaring them uninhabitable and in danger of being destroyed.
Some property owners have complained that the problems started when they noticed a water leak late last week on the hillside above the community.
“A lot of us reported it, and the city sent people out to fix it, but that’s when it started to happen,” said Luis Hernandez. “You could say it’s all a coincidence, but who knows.”
Hernandez said he and his family are now packing, leaving their home of seven years.
“It’s like a movie, but nothing like this had ever happened, you don’t know what to think,” he said.
Others, including Sandra Valdivia, reported living in the neighborhood for many years.
“I’ve been here 10 years,” she said. “Some had finished paying off their houses.”
Valdivia has joined other residents now demanding answers from the city.
“We don’t want money, we just want to know what they are going to do to save our homes,” she said.
One thing the city is doing is conducting a study to determine how the slide began and how far it might go.
“We’re monitoring the situation as we try to figure out what’s going on,” said Bernardo Villegas, director of civil protection in Tijuana.
Resident Ruben Valdez said the city and state are in no hurry to admit liability.
“Everyone is washing their hands of any responsibility because the only ones affected here are the residents,” said Valdez. “I worked for more than 40 years, and to lose it all overnight is hard, I still can’t believe I don’t have a home anymore, I’m homeless.”
Valdez added he didn’t have a place to go to and can’t afford to buy or rent anything at the moment.
“Rents are very expensive, you can’t find anything under 800 to $1,000,” he said.