California mudslides kill at least 13 people

Mudslides, boulders and cascading debris kill at least 13 people in an area of Southern California's Pacific Coast ravaged by a series of intense wildfires last month.

A fast moving and deadly river of sludge.

Southern California left blanketed on Tuesday (January 9) after flash floods and mudslides, triggered by heavy downpour, wiped out homes in Santa Barbara County, leaving at least 13 people dead.


"The only words I can really think to describe what it looked like was it looked like a World War One battle field."

Thousands of residents were forced to flee their homes on Tuesday morning, as torrential rain struck the coast north of Los Angeles before dawn.

But officials say many chose to stay put.

The mudslide toppled trees, demolished cars and covered blocks of residential streets, leaving dozens of people stranded in the rubble.

The upscale communities of Montecito and Carpenteria were the hardest hit.

It comes just weeks after California was ravaged by the biggest wildfires in the state's history, the inferno burned away grass and shrubs, leaving the area prone to mudslides.

Rescue workers are continuing to pick through demolished homes for survivors, but with many still missing and more rain to come, officials fear the death toll could rise.


Source: Times of Oman,
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