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Teams Search For Survivors After Montecito Mudslides
14 January 2018, 05:20 | Glen Norman
Teams Search For Survivors After Montecito Mudslides
Five people are still missing after the mudslides, according to an update on the County of Santa Barbara's website, which warned people to "anticipate the numbers of missing persons to fluctuate significantly".
Rescuers have searched frantically for the missing after rivers of mud and boulders flooded through neighborhoods in and near Montecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara, demolishing homes and leaving roads impassable.
"This house is across the street now so we have to search these piles where people could've potentially floated into", he said.
Ms Benitez lived with her sister-in-law, Marilyn Ramos, 27, who was asleep with her daughter, Kaelly, 3, when mud crashed through their Montecito rental home, carrying both to their deaths.
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Search and rescue crews recovered the body of Morgan Corey, 25, who was found in debris near Mill Road about 9 a.m. Saturday, officials said.
There are currently seven people still missing after the mudslides, with authorities now calling for public support in finding the locals, who range in age from two to 62-years-old.
The fires burned most vegetation, leaving flawless conditions for the latest disaster to unfold. "... We didn't take it serious (ly) enough".
"(In) four minutes the water was through our wall and in our house, nearly to the second story", he said. "But we just feel lucky that we were able to get out and (are) alive".
After a wildfire, burned vegetation and charred soil create a water repellent layer which blocks water absorption. Walls of mud and debris cascaded down hillsides stripped of trees and shrubs by last month's wildfires, including the Thomas Fire, the largest blaze in the state's history.
The, was declared fully contained Friday. Latest maps produced by ESRI show that huge swathes of southern California are still at risk from the landslides.
He said: "Our hearts beak for the communities first ravaged by fires and now these mudslides".
"(But) no storm brings down everything that is susceptible.
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What can be done? With most utilities out of commission or about to be cut off, staying behind was not an option for many. But Tom Fayram, the deputy director of the county's flood control district, said the crews were making great progress and he was confident that at least a base level of water would be able to pass through the creek channels.
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The young are most affected, with as many as 40 percent out of work according to analysts, and rural areas particularly hard-hit. A regional official confirms that two people were killed in clashes in the western town of Dorud during an "illegal protest".
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United Nations official Rupert Colville added "These are shocking and shameful comments from the President of the United States". On Friday morning, Trump tweeted that he used " tough " language at the meeting, but not the reported vulgarity.
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