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13 dead, several injured in southern California mudslides and heavy rain

13 dead, several injured in southern California mudslides and heavy rain

Several people have died in Santa Barbara County, but it's unclear how many were in Montecito.

"In disaster circumstances there have been many miraculous stories lasting many days and we certainly are searching for a miracle right now", Mr Brown.

Rescue crews in southern California have worked through the night, using dogs and scanners to comb through tons of debris for survivors from deadly mudslides that struck along the state's picturesque coastal communities.

"It looked like a World War I battlefield", Brown said of the destruction.

Montecito, a wealthy community northwest of Los Angeles, is also home to celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Rob Lowe. He went on to note that fallen powerlines, trees, and other debris would pose a challenge for rescue personnel, making it hard for them to aid victims trapped in their homes.

On Tuesday, drought-ridden Southern California finally saw some rain, but the downpour came with disastrous results, causing mudslides that have wrecked homes and killed at least 17 people. Then swipe left to see how deep the mud is in my backyard.

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But the wooded hillsides that once gave their estates a sense of seclusion were largely denuded by last year's historic wildfires, setting the stage for the massive slides that slammed into homes, turned highways into raging rivers and shredded cars into almost unrecognizable tangles of metal after heavy Tuesday rains.

Burned-over zones are especially susceptible to destructive mudslides because scorched earth does not absorb water well and the land is easily eroded when there are no shrubs.

Last month a series of bushfires ravaged the area and wiped out root vegetation, contributing to the instability of the soil and its inability to absorb moisture - priming the area for the devastating mudslides. "And debris is everywhere".

Authorities confirmed Wednesday 7,000 people remain under mandatory evacuation orders, while 23,000 have voluntarily evacuated their homes.

Power failures have affected more than 6,000 homes and businesses in the area, with that many parts of Montecito without drinkable water.


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