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Five Dead amid California Heavy Rains and Mudslides

Last edited 9th January 2018

Five Dead amid California Heavy Rains and Mudslides

At least five people are dead amid mudslides in Southern California, where heavy rains triggered flooding and massive run-off, US media report.

"Waist-deep" mudslides in areas scorched by wildfires last month shut down more than 30 miles (48km) of the main coastal highway, officials say. Emergency crews are working to rescue multiple people trapped in vehicles and homes, a Santa Barbara official said.

At least eight people were injured and thousands have fled ahead of the rain. Heavy rain run-off caused waist-deep mudflow in the Montecito, where some homes were knocked from their foundations, Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

Boulders the size of small cars were rolling down hillsides, and blocking roads, reports BBC News Los Angeles correspondent James Cook.

Among those taken to safety was a 14-year-old girl who had been trapped for hours in the ruins of her home. The fire department published a picture of the girl encased in mud as she was led to safety.

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