At least 15 killed after major mudslide in Santa Barbara, California

At least 15 killed after major mudslide in Santa Barbara, California

Jan 10, 2018

At least 15 people were killed and homes were swept from their foundations on Tuesday as heavy rain sent mud and boulders sliding down hills stripped of vegetation by southern California’s recent wildfires.

Rescue crews used helicopters to lift people to safety because of blocked roads, and firefighters slogged through waist-high mud to pull a muck-covered 14-year-old girl out of the ruins of a home in Montecito, north-west of Los Angeles, where she had been trapped for hours. She was taken away on a stretcher.

Most deaths were believed to have occurred in Montecito, a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people north-west of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres, said Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos. Winfrey’s home survived the storm and slides. At least 25 people were injured.

Those numbers could increase when the search is deepened and expanded, with a major search-and-rescue team arriving from nearby Los Angeles County and help from the coastguard and national guard along with law enforcement.

They will focus first on finding survivors.

“Right now our assets are focused on determining if anyone is still alive in any of those structures that have been damaged,” Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County said.

The sheriff said “at least several dozen homes that have been either destroyed or severely damaged, and likely many other ones are in areas that are as-yet inaccessible.”

 

Click here for full article on The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

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