Man injured in landslide at Little Qualicum River Village as home destroyed

Update: local state of emergency was rescinded about 48 hours after the incident on Dec. 10

One man was transported to Nanaimo General Hospital after his Meadowood home was taken out by a landslide Wednesday morning trapping him inside, according to Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Nick Acciavatti.

The landslide, caused by severe wind and heavy rainfall, occurred in Little Qualicum River Village. The regional district issued a state of local emergency and evacuation order for the area, which has been rescinded.

“When we arrived on scene we found a landslide had taken down a two-storey home,” explained Acciavatti. “There were two occupants in the home.”

He said a female occupant managed to escape the home, while a male occupant got trapped inside the home after it collapsed.

“Once the home was deemed safe to enter, we entered and crews worked for about 45 minutes to extract the occupant from debris,” said Acciavatti.

He said an air ambulance was called to transport the male occupant, but it was later deemed unnecessary so he was transported by ground ambulance to Nanaimo with non-life- threatening injuries.

According to police, the neighbourhood was under a “non-mandatory evacuation order” meaning if residents left they could not come back, but residents were not obligated to leave.

By Wednesday afternoon, all but one home in the area immediately surrounding the home that was taken out by the landslide had been evacuated. Acciavatti said fire crews were on site until approximately 1 p.m. He said fire crews from Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Errington were called for back up and close to 30 first responders attended the incident.

“I’m very thankful to all the responding agencies who assisted us,” he said. “I really appreciate it and feel fortunate to have such dedicated volunteers.”

Residents in the area were directed to an emergency reception centre at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre where Oceanside Emergency Social Services were available for help.

Security personnel were expected to be on site overlooking the properties.

According to the RDN, a geotechnical assessment of the area is ongoing to determine the full impact of the landslide.

For more information on flooding, personal preparedness, evacuation procedures and Emergency Social Services, visit the RDN website at rdn.bc.ca/Services/Emergency Planning.