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13 dead in California mudslide

By: Bisola Bello January 10, 2018
California mudslide

13 people have been reported dead after a mudslide occurred in southern California.

Rescue workers are searching for survivors as authorities close down 30 miles (48km) of the main coastal road.

A group of 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon neighbourhood east of Santa Barbara, with rescue efforts due to resume at daybreak.

More than 50 people have been rescued already but many places are still inaccessible. Several roads are closed, including the major Highway 101.

Some 163 people have been taken to hospital. Twenty had “storm-related injuries” and four were critically hurt.

The first rain in months caused mudslides when it hit ground that had been scorched by December’s huge wildfires.

After a wildfire, burned vegetation and charred soil create a water repellent layer which blocks water absorption. Together with the loss of vegetation, this leads to an increased risk of mudslides and floods.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency¬†(FEMA) says the risk of flooding stays “significantly higher” for up to five years after a wildfire.

Culled from BBC



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