Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

California storm, mudslides death toll at 15 as search for survivors continues

Getty Images Getty Images
Ben Pena | 13 January, 2018, 07:36

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters the tragic news late on Wednesday afternoon, that two more bodies had been found by rescue crews.

"All hell broke loose", said Peter Hartmann, a dentist who moonlights as a news photographer for the local website Noozhawk.

Additionally, officials said that at least 21,000 people have been evacuated as a result of the mudslides, the Associated Press reported. He said those who perished range in age from three to 89 years old.

A boulder blocks a road after heavy rains caused deadly mudslides in Montecito, California.

It was unclear how many people actually got the alert.

"There are four juveniles on the list", Brown said.

The county's Sheriff Bill Brown told CBS This Morning that officials are now working to identify people who may still be trapped, particularly in isolated areas.

Further complicating matters after people ignored urgent warnings, the Weather Channel reveals how the instantaneous mudflow was "like a dam breaking" that surrounded homes, waist deep.

United States ambassador to Panama resigns, says he can't work under Trump anymore
Goldstein told reporters that he was aware of Feeley's planned departure in advance, even before Trump's alleged use of the term. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. "That time has come".

According to Ready, the U.S. government's campaign for emergency preparedness, a mudslide is when soil and debris takes on the properties of a river after becoming saturated with water.

He said the zone, which includes areas formerly under voluntary evacuation advisories, would be in effect for one week but that residents should plan for two.

Helicopters were used to hoist more than 50 people to safety from roofs, where they scrambled to escape the mud or because debris had blocked roads and left them stranded. The evacuations were ordered because the mudslides threaten the communities beneath the foothills.

'They weren't concerned. It's not like anybody came around and told them to leave'. One of her doctors, the leader of her children's scout group and a former neighbor were among the dead. "But we just feel lucky that we were able to get out and (are) alive".

The worst of the rainfall occurred in a 15-minute span starting at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. The rain poured down on hillsides charred by recent wildfires, which burned vegetation that otherwise could make the terrain more resistant to mudslides.

The mudslides struck an area that in December 2017, had already suffered the Thomas wildfire, and was spurred by torrential downpours that dropped almost 2.54 cm of rain in less than 15 minutes.

Officials said secondary searches of damaged structures were under way.

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