Published: 11:00, 30 May 2020
| Updated: 11:21, 30 May 2020
Dramatic drone footage reveals a home has come within metres of toppling over a cliff edge following a major collapse last night.
The aerial shots reveal how much of the landscape has disappeared, leaving properties in Eastchurch, Sheppey at risk.
Drone footage filmed by RLH Media
One home in Surf Crescent appears to be little more than a van's length from the new cliff edge, with its owner saying crews are "doing their best to save it".
Google images captured earlier this year suggest the property was nearer 30 metres from the precipice before last night's collapse.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service says 20 households were evacuated, with all but two since allowed to return home following inspections by Swale Borough Council's building control.
The authority's leader, Cllr Roger Truelove, says 13 people from the remaining properties were given help at an emergency rest centre.
He says staff are now working to find them accommodation.
“This is shocking news, and of course we will do all we can to help people," he said.
"Along with our own officers, I would like to thank Kent Fire and Rescue Services, Kent Police, HM Coastguard and the utility services for their prompt response, and Minster Parish Council for their help in temporarily accommodating the affected families overnight.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) says it was called to reports of a "significant cliff collapse" near to Surf Crescent and Third Avenue.
A spokesman said: "Firefighters arrived at the scene to find a large section of the cliff edge had fallen away leaving a number of properties at potential risk.
"Around 20 homes were quickly and safely evacuated as a precaution and the occupants were placed into a temporary welfare centre set up in New Road Residents Community Centre.
KFRS's Technical Rescue Unit put a safety cordon around the affected properties and road.
The spokesperson added: "Crews assisted building control from Swale Borough Council to inspect the area and the properties nearest to the cliff edge.
"The crew also supported the occupants by retrieving a number of personal items from their homes."
Members of the public have been asked to stay away from the area due to the direct danger of further cliff collapse.
A number of roads and footpaths in the area have been shut off and a large section of the beach close to the affected area of the cliff has also been closed.
Efforts have been made in the past to protect homes in the area from disappearing over the cliff edge.
In 2016, biodegradable mesh was laid over vulnerable parts of the cliffs with the aim of holding the land together long enough for grass and willow and birch seedlings to take hold.
The site falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to fossils and species of plant found there.
More by this authorJoe Walker
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