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California mudslide casualties increase to 18

14 Janvier 2018

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What Caused the Montecito Mudslide?


While the worst of the rainstorm early Tuesday that closed roads and cut power to thousands of people was over, Montecito was grappling with the deaths of at least 17 people and trying to find eight others who were officially unaccounted for amid what was morphing into a massive cleanup effort. They had fled following the devastating forest fires last month but this time Mr Farrell Snr, an 81-year-old two time Olympic gold medallist, decided he did not want to leave.

The two developments reduced the number of missing from seven to five.

Ellen concluded: "I work in LA, but I consider Montecito my home".

Another storm-related death was reported in Northern California, where a man was killed when his auto was apparently struck by falling rocks in a landslide Tuesday evening in Napa County.

"Imagine what it's like when it's just ringing and ringing and ringing, and you're waiting to hear if she's going to pick up the phone", Haigh said. "This is a constantly changing list", he said.

And because of the fire, communities below the scarred terrain could remain at risk of mudslides for years, said Randall Jibson, a research geologist with the US Geological Survey.

Asked by reporters if the operation had shifted from a rescue to a recovery more than 48 hours after the mud came down, the sheriff said his crews had not given up hope. The ground remains unstable and the potential for further deaths and injuries remains.

The boy's father and 2-year-old sister are still missing, the newspaper reported.

The Benitez brothers survived.

"Some rescues have been gut-wrenching: firefighters pushed through wait-high mud to reach a 14-year-old girl caked in mud from head to toe", Karson reports.

"She kept me calm the whole time".

Ramos, a stay-at-home mom, was sleeping in her bed along with her daughter Kaelly Benitez when mud crashed through their rental home. She was swept away in the mudslide and later found dead. He shared the home with his partner, who owned a cafe in Santa Barbara. The couple, together for more than a half-century, didn't heed a voluntary evacuation warning and stayed home Monday to celebrate Jim Mitchell's 89th birthday. Many Montecitans had only a few days ago returned to their homes after evacuation from the Thomas fire.

It continued to smoulder before a drenching Pacific storm hit bare hills and mountains this week, unleashing debris-laden flash floods that swept away homes and killed at least 17 people.

The mudslides notably occurred weeks after the Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire within California, struck the state.

"Roy's life has been in service to his good, loving and ever-forgiving God", St. Augustine Academy headmaster Michael Van Hecke said in a statement.

"The Sheriff's Office wants to express our heartfelt sadness to the family and friends of those who lost their loved ones", it said.

Rescue crews in Montecito are now looking for five people missing and feared dead.

Cal Fire search and rescue crews used their hands to get free as they trudged through the mud, looking for survivors.


California mudslide casualties increase to 18