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Sunshine dream in ruins: British houses destroyed in Cyprus landslides

Stunning views of the glittering Mediterranean Sea, luxury villas at affordable prices, easy access to lush golf courses – and you drive on the left.

No wonder Cyprus has become the favorite destination for thousands of Britons looking for a new life in the sun.

But a community nestled in the hills of the island has shattered his dreams as their homes are torn apart and made worthless by gaping gorges opening beneath them.

Destroyed: some of the affected residents of Pissouri whose homes collapse due to cracks suspected of being caused by underground landslides

Destroyed: some of the affected residents of Pissouri whose homes collapse due to cracks suspected of being caused by underground landslides

There are already 17 families evicted in Pissouri Village, where at least 70 houses collapse.

The gorges are caused by underground landslides caused by water flowing under the earth through the valley, due to heavy rainfall and the fact that Cyprus does not have a robust sewage system.

Dozens of desperate families have pleaded with the Cypriot government to help with their plight.

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

They claim that if the government had acted when they first recognized the problem years ago, the magnitude of the disaster would have been much less.

In 2015, the then Minister of the Interior, Socratis Hasikos, said it was the government's duty to intervene, but no action was taken after his resignation in May 2017.

& # 39; Since then we have had nothing; they have not even sent anyone here to watch & # 39 ;, says former chartered surveyor Antony Walker, 73, whose home is one of those involved.

& # 39; They kicked the can onto the road while our homes slip further away every day.

& # 39; Initially they said it was the fault of the developers, but each was built by different developers at a different time; and how would that explain why roads collapse? & # 39;

Crumbling village: 17 families have already been evicted from Pissouri Village, where at least 70 houses are collapsing

Crumbling village: 17 families have already been evicted from Pissouri Village, where at least 70 houses are collapsing

Crumbling village: 17 families have already been evicted from Pissouri Village, where at least 70 houses are collapsing

General view of the village of Pissouri with the destruction of the landslide affecting houses and roads

General view of the village of Pissouri with the destruction of the landslide affecting houses and roads

General view of the village of Pissouri with the destruction of the landslide affecting houses and roads

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

A group of 29 villagers, who have called themselves the Pissouri Housing Initiative Group (PHIG), believe that the Cypriot government should raise money in the European Union from its solidarity fund to help solve the problem.

& # 39; No insurance company will insure against damage caused by landslides & # 39 ;, Walker explains.

& # 39; So many are in this desperate situation where they have to pay a mortgage for a house that is collapsing, and they cannot afford to go somewhere else.

& # 39; Meanwhile, the Cypriot government, which created this mess, has turned its back on us. & # 39;

The Daily Mail reported in May about the plight of the Phillips family in nearby Paphos, who are planning to prosecute the government for having their house built on an unsafe site.

Unlike the Phillips family, villagers in Pissouri consider suing the government as a last resort because the trial may take more than a decade because of the clogged courts and the slow legal system of the country.

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

Michael Ellis, 63 whose drive and swimming pool has sunk more than 30 meters from his house

Bill Potter, 69 and Shelia Potter's bungalow twisted by a landslide

Bill Potter, 69 and Shelia Potter's bungalow twisted by a landslide

Bill Potter, 69 and Shelia Potter's bungalow twisted by a landslide

The home of John Lamb's mother who has been driven out because it has been broken in two by a landslide

The home of John Lamb's mother who has been driven out because it has been broken in two by a landslide

The home of John Lamb's mother who has been driven out because it has been broken in two by a landslide

& # 39; No insurance company will insure against damage caused by landslides, & # 39; a resident explained

& # 39; No insurance company will insure against damage caused by landslides, & # 39; a resident explained

& # 39; No insurance company will insure against damage caused by landslides, & # 39; a resident explained

Anne Everett and Don Everett, whose garden and house have started to swing due to the landslide

Anne Everett and Don Everett, whose garden and house have started to swing due to the landslide

Anne Everett and Don Everett, whose garden and house have started to swing due to the landslide

& # 39; The group's lawyer, Elina Zoi, says: & # 39; These people don't have ten or fifteen years to solve this. Some are in the eighties and their homes will have collapsed long ago. & # 39;

Around 70,000 British expats live in Cyprus and the real estate sector is booming.

In April, about 1,057 contracts were filed with the registry for the sale of real estate and land, an increase of 62 percent over the same month last year.

The British High Commission confirmed that it is talking to the Cypriot government about a solution.

A spokesperson says: & # 39; We are constantly working with authorities in Cyprus to find a solution to the problems that residents in the area are experiencing. & # 39;

A spokesperson for the Cypriot Ministry of the Interior admits that there are & # 39; serious problems of soil instability & # 39; are in the area and blames the developers, and even advises the villagers to sue them.

Pieces flying away sounded like a gunshot

It has taken a toll on our health

The luxury four-bedroom villa of Peter and Kayt Field with swimming pool is unsuitable for occupancy in March 2016 & # 39; explained.

And since the couple fled the house, the house that they shared for 25 years has been crumbled several times and plundered for the things they left behind.

The couple, from Northamptonshire, bought the house in 1993 and for almost a quarter of a century there were no problems.

Home now worthless: Peter & # 39; s and Kayt Field & # 39; s luxury villa with four beds and pool is in March 2016 as & # 39; unsuitable for occupancy & # 39; explained

Home now worthless: Peter & # 39; s and Kayt Field & # 39; s luxury villa with four beds and pool is in March 2016 as & # 39; unsuitable for occupancy & # 39; explained

Home now worthless: Peter & # 39; s and Kayt Field & # 39; s luxury villa with four beds and pool is in March 2016 as & # 39; unsuitable for occupancy & # 39; explained

But the former Colonel Peter, 81, who spent 48 years in the army, began to notice cracks in 2015.

It wasn't long before the doors no longer fit into their frames and the couple were forced to go downstairs to a bedroom while looking for a safe place to live.

& # 39; While we were sleeping in the house, you could hear pieces falling away – it would seem like a gunshot, then part of the house would crack and fall to the floor & # 39 ;, Kayt says. & # 39; It has all taken a heavy toll on our health – my husband needed two stents and a pacemaker.

An aerial photo of Pissouri, Cyprus, with the tear lines caused by landslides

An aerial photo of Pissouri, Cyprus, with the tear lines caused by landslides

An aerial photo of Pissouri, Cyprus, with the tear lines caused by landslides

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

Peter Field and Kayt Field & # 39; s house torn apart by a landslide

& # 39; The announcement of deportation was pinned on our door while we were shopping. We had no warning. The municipality of Limassol offered to let us use the road sweeper for a day to help us move, but it was like that. & # 39;

The couple, who have two children and four grandchildren, say their home is worth € 700,000, but now & # 39; worthless & # 39; is. It would have been nice to leave something behind for our children, & Peter says. & # 39; But that now seems unlikely. & # 39;

The couple hopes that the Cypriot government will be able to compensate them for the loss of their home, but is very frustrated with the lack of response from the authorities. & # 39; I think they just wait until we die, so the problem disappears for them & # 39 ;, Kayt says.

My family had to go back to the UK

The field outside Mick and Louise Ellis' house was opened in August 2016 at night. Their swimming pool and driveway fell by 8ft over the next two weeks.

Louise, 50, and the children of the Georgina, 19, and Isabel, 15, couple returned to Buckinghamshire in December 2018 after the ride from the house they had bought in 2013 had become too dangerous.

Mick Ellis is standing with his and his wife Louise & # 39; s house opened the night in August 2016. During the next two weeks, their pool and driveway dropped by 8ft.

Mick Ellis is standing with his and his wife Louise & # 39; s house opened the night in August 2016. During the next two weeks, their pool and driveway dropped by 8ft.

Pool has collapsed: Mick Ellis is standing by the pool and the driveway of his and his wife Louise who fell by 8ft in the course of two weeks

Mick, 63, a quality manager at the Mediterranean Hospital in Limassol, says: & We sold our house in Aylesbury and everything we had to start our life here.

& # 39; I don't earn enough to rent a home and at my age it won't be long before I retire – what then?

& # 39; My pension will not support me and my family, nor the rent.

& # 39; Going through the court takes a maximum of 15 years and the costs are huge. We get no help at all. & # 39;

We heard that concrete hit the ground

Great-grandparents Bill and Sheila Potter bought the land for their home in 1992 after they visited Cyprus on holiday and fell in love with it & # 39 ;.

They sold everything they had in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and built the house themselves.

& # 39; The first Christmas gift I bought was a cement mixer from Sheila, & # 39; says Bill, 69.

& # 39; It took two years to plan the house the way we wanted; all relevant investigations and checks were carried out and the architect told us that everything was to a very high standard.

& # 39; Over the next ten years, we have gradually contributed to the house, the pool, and everything else. & # 39;

Fortunately, they lived there until 2015, when cracks opened everywhere. The swimming pool had to be filled in 2016 because the border walls had collapsed.

& # 39; The crack has not only torn it apart, but part of the house has been dropped half a yard & # 39 ;, says the former probation officer. & # 39; We could hear the cracks. You can hear the pieces of concrete crumbling on the floor. It is heartbreaking. & # 39;

The couple is forced to borrow money and return to the UK. & # 39; We've spent our entire life working on a decent pension and then your dream literally collapses and around your ears & # 39 ;, says Sheila, also a former probation officer.

& # 39; We have to face the facts that our house has disappeared for 25 years and that we no longer have a house.

& # 39; No one from the government has come to see it for themselves. They cannot predict a landslide, but they can help and they have a duty to do so. & # 39;

Our house shifted by 5ft in five years

Katherine Yeomans was in love with Cyprus since he was on vacation there as a child. The mother of two and her husband Jeremy, 54, an accountant, sold everything and got a mortgage to buy their luxury three-bed house with swimming pool and moved in December 2014.

They had no idea that the house was next to what would become a gaping gap. Only two months after they appeared in cracks, it started to appear in the garden and by 2017 the swimming pool had collapsed.

The whole house has now been turned 5 meters and is surrounded by debris and gorges that grow bigger every day.

Katherine says. & # 39; We have paid thousands to have things repaired constantly, but it is a lost battle. We still have € 96,000 to pay off the mortgage. We just don't know what to do. It is hopeless. & # 39;

. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) money (t) moneymortgageshome

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