A landslide has wiped away a section of land about 50 km northeast of Montreal on the banks of the Richelieu river in Saint Roch de Richelieu.

The hole that has opened up is about one metre away from a house.

Nobody was home Sunday when the landslide occurred and public safety officials have told the family they cannot return home, and may never be able to return home.

A neighbour called the homeowner around noon Sunday to tell him that a large chunk of land had dropped 20 metres to the edge of the river.

The erosion has continued since then, much to the dismay of Dominique Feuiltault, although he is looking on the bright side.

"I'm a fireman and I was really happy that nothing happened in terms of a casualty because we know that two years ago it happened in St. Jude and four people died over there, so that is my first reflex to see that there is no casualty," said Feuiltault.

"This is only material."

Feuiltault has been living in the home for ten years, and will likely not be allowed to return.

Inspectors arrived Monday morning at the landslide and began taking soil samples to see what, if anything, can be done to stop the erosion and protect Feuiltault's house.

The mayor of the town said landslides are common, happening once a year as underground water and farm runoff causes erosion.

"There's not much we can do as a municipality. We need help, we need the government to take their responsibilities," said Mayor Claude Pothier.