A MAJOR operation to evacuate people from their homes in the Isle of Wight after a landslip has been launched.

Residents in Undercliffe between Niton and St Laurence were told to leave their properties yesterday Military personnel and firefighters spearheaded the operation which followed days of bad weather that led to ground movement damaging the road resulting in loss of vehicular access to an area known as The Woodlands.

The coastguard, police and Isle of Wight Council workers are also helping people remove belongings from their homes.

The saturated ground makes the site extremely dangerous and members of the public are advised to stay away from the area.

Councillor Ian Stephens, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “We are very grateful for the additional assistance that the military is providing in our operation to assist residents affected by this terrible situation.

"Organisations are working closely together to provide humanitarian assistance to residents at this time of need. It is great to see such willingness and co-ordination from everyone involved.

“The council has been liaising closely with residents since the situation worsened on Wednesday and we will continue to provide whatever support we can.

“I would like to thank everyone involved in this relief effort, it just demonstrates how people can pull together in difficult times - something the Island community is very good at.”

A road and footpath closure is in place between Mirables and Old Park Road.