Investigations are underway to determine the risk posed by a Parton landslide close to a school.
The school has been closed, Main Street has been shut and the houses near to the school have been evacuated and moved to Ennerdale Country House Hotel.
The landslide is believed to have been caused by a combination of the long spell of dry weather combined with heavy rain on Tuesday night to cause a split in the landscape.
A temporary 18-month emergency road closure notice has been issued by Cumbria County Council which gives the authority powers to impose temporary restrictions on the carriageway for the next 18 months.
A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: “Our immediate priority, working with multi-agency partners, is ensuring public safety and the wellbeing of professionals working on the site.
“Overnight, fourteen properties have been evacuated as a precaution and road and footpath closures are currently in place as a precautionary measure.
“People who have been displaced are being supported where required and this support involves district, county council and NHS officers working together with those affected locally.
“Cumbria County Council’s Highways Teams remain on-site to maintain the road closure and maintain safety of the site.
“Technical experts have arrived on site and land assessments are taking place now to ascertain the level of ongoing risk.
“It is not yet clear how long this assessment will take, given the risks associated with the site and challenges with safe access.
“The implications for St Bridget’s school, the children’s play area and residential housing in the path of any potential landslip are also being carefully considered across a number of partners.
“Families will of course be kept informed as we understand more.”
The spokesman confirmed that the investigations are at too early a stage to understand how long the road will be closed for and that the 18-month time period included on the order is traditionally much longer than is needed to complete the work.