California

California mudslides killed 13 people

MNA International Desk: Mudslides unleashed by a ferocious storm demolished homes in southern California and killed at least 13 people, police said Tuesday.

Authorities said the bodies were discovered in mud and debris during rescue operations in Montecito, northwest of Los Angeles.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department said on its Twitter feed it was using dogs to look for victims where multiple homes once stood in Montecito following heavy rain, with more than 20 people reported missing.

The department posted pictures of rivers of waist-high mud flowing through neighborhoods and roads rendered impassable by fallen trees.

Roads were clogged throughout the region with mudflows shutting down more than 30 miles (50 kilometers) of the 101 Freeway and knocking a number of homes from their foundations.

Pounding rain weakened south-facing slopes above Montecito and flooded a creek, sending mud and huge rocks rolling into housing areas, reported news agency.

Emergency services told reporters at least “two dozen” people were missing with “several dozen” homes damaged or destroyed. They said they had rescued scores of residents, including 50 airlifted by hoist.

The highest rainfall total was recorded at five inches (13 centimeters) in Ventura County, according to the National Weather Service Los Angeles.

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