Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

California mudslides kill at least 13 in region scorched by wildfires

California mudslides kill at least 13 in region scorched by wildfires

Relentless rain and flooding brought mud and debris spilling onto roadways and neighborhoods in Montecito and Carpinteria, in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles.

At least 17 people have died as a result of Tuesday's mudslides in California, while more than a dozen remain missing, officials have said.

One of the rescues involved airlifting two burn victims from a home explosion in Montecito to a Santa Barbara-area hospital.

The destruction was described by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown as looking "like a World War I battlefield".

He also warned of "waist-deep mud flow" as well as downed trees and power lines across the area, which have left responders' access severly limited.

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Winfrey, fresh from sparking rumours of a U.S. presidential run, said on Instagram she was "praying for our community again in Santa Barbara".

Mike Eliason, a spokesman with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said "multiple" rescue operations are underway in Montecito, which lies just east of Santa Barbara along the popular north-south 101 freeway. Firefighters struggled through the mud to pull a muck-covered 14-year-old girl out of the ruinds of a home in Montecito, norrthwest of Los Angeles.

"I came around the house and heard a deep rumbling, an ominous sound that I knew was the boulders moving as the mud was rising", he said.

Santa Barba Country's Sheriff says they expect the number of deaths to rise as the search continues for more missing people.

After a wildfire, burned vegetation and charred soil created a water repellent layer which blocked water absorption and led to an increased risk of mudslides and floods.

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Coast Guard video captured the dramatic rescue of an entire family including a newborn baby.

Three more people were rescued from the path of debris yesterday.

Weather forecasters had predicted some of the heaviest rain could fall in areas where the Thomas and Creek fires recently burned.

Boulders the size of small cars were rolling down hillsides and blocking roads, the BBC report said.

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