HERCULES, Calif. (AP) — A crumbling hillside that is threatening eight homes in the San Francisco Bay area city of Hercules has prompted city officials to declare a local emergency.

   The City Council approved the declaration on Tuesday after affected residents told council members they needed help.

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   Homeowners can now apply for federal aid while the city can seek federal and state assistance.

   The hill began moving after a series of rain storms last week. Though the rain has stopped, city officials say four of the homes have been damaged and declared uninhabitable.

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   Crews have erected barricades to try to keep those homes from falling.

   Residents of the other four homes have been advised to vacate until the hillside can be shored up.

   The recent rains also caused a landslide in the nearby city of San Pablo that has also affected homes.

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