Tonnes of rocks, mud and trees tumbled down a mountainside in Sunshine Valley, B.C. Thursday, destroying three homes and spurring a local state of emergency.

The landslide occurred at around 4 p.m. in the quiet community, located along the Hope-Princeton Highway, and sent giant Douglas Firs onto the vacation homes.

The only person present in any of the affected residences was a woman in her 40s. She managed to escape to a nearby home unharmed but emotionally shaken.

Neighbour Mernie Jacobsen's house was safe, but says the ordeal has been "sickeningly frightening."

"I can't tell whether there's more mud to come down or if we're down to the rock yet," Jacobsen said. "There's so much water still coming down."

Residents are being told to stay away until authorities are sure it's safe. Nearby Highway 3 remains open.