(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong authorities have ordered owners of four houses at a luxury residential estate to remove unauthorized structures that were exposed by a landslide.

Some residents of Redhill Peninsula in Hong Kong’s Tai Tam district were evacuated after record rains caused a landslide and brought to light the possibility of illegal structures. Restoration works must be completed within 150 days and authorities may prosecute owners who fail to comply with the orders, the government said in a statement on Friday. 

In addition, about 70 houses at the estate are suspected to have unauthorized structures and 40 may be illegally occupying government land, according to the statement. Authorities launched a “large-scale joint operation” and will apply for warrants to enter the houses for inspection and collection of evidence if necessary, it said. 

Read about the evacuation of residents after the landslide

The revelations have dominated local media coverage in recent weeks. While illegal structures have been a longstanding issue, the scale of the landslide and speculation about the identities of the homeowners have attracted public interest.

Unauthorized building works are often a hot topic in Hong Kong, with wealthy residents and government officials sometimes involved in related controversies. In general, illegal building works involve any additions or alterations made to the interior or exterior without prior approval of the Buildings Department. 

--With assistance from Alfred Liu.

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