Tuesday, January 23, 2018 | ePaper

Mudslides and flooding kill at least 13 in California

  • Print


The mudslide toppled trees and demolished cars and covered blocks of quiet residential neighbourhoods

Reuters, Los Angeles :
At least 13 people died and thousands fled from their homes in Southern California on Tuesday as a powerful rainstorm triggered flash floods and mudslides on slopes where a series of intense wildfires burned off protective vegetation last month.
Heavy downpours struck before dawn on Tuesday after thousands of residents in Santa Barbara County along the Pacific coast north of Los Angeles were ordered to evacuate. But only 10 to 15 percent complied with mandatory orders, said Amber Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Fire Department.
Emergency workers, using search dogs and helicopters, have rescued dozens of people stranded in rubble, Anderson said.
The mudslide toppled trees and demolished cars and covered blocks of quiet residential neighbourhoods with a thick layer of mud, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a news conference.
"The best way I can describe it is it looked like a World War One battlefield," Brown said.
The death toll on Tuesday surpassed a California mudslide on Jan. 10, 2005, that killed 10 people as a hillside gave way in the town of La Conchita, less than 20 miles (32 km) south of the latest disaster.
The threat of mudslides prompted the county to order 7,000 residents to leave their homes before the rains came and to urge 23,000 others to evacuate voluntarily.
The county set up an evacuation shelter at Santa Barbara City College and also gave residents a place to take their animals. Last month's wildfires, the largest in California history, left the area vulnerable to mudslides. The fires burned away grass and shrubs that hold the soil in place and also baked a waxy layer into the earth that prevents water from sinking deeply into the ground.The overnight rains forced road closures, including a 30-mile (48-km) stretch of U.S. Highway 101, essentially cutting off traffic between Santa Barbara and Ventura counties northwest of Los Angeles.

More News For this Category

UAE-backed group vows to `overthrow` Yemen`s government

UAE-backed group vows to `overthrow` Yemen`s government

Al Jazeera News  :A group of separatists in southern Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have declared a state of emergency in the port city of Aden

S Korea's 'Peace Olympics' meet backlash at home

S Korea's 'Peace Olympics' meet backlash at home

AFP, Seoul :South Korea's efforts to bring the North to its Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month are provoking a backlash among its own people, with accusations that Seoul

Tokyo gets first 'heavy snow' alert in four years

AFP, Tokyo :Japan's weather agency on Monday issued a heavy snow warning for Tokyo for the first time in four years, urging people to go home early amid fears

Sacked Catalan leader arrives in Denmark despite Spanish arrest threat

AFP :Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont arrived in Copenhagen on Monday, defying a threat by Madrid to issue a warrant for his arrest if he leaves Belgium, where he

Turkey in new assault on Kurdish militia on Syria

Turkey in new assault on Kurdish militia on Syria

AFP  :Turkey on Monday shelled Kurdish militia targets in Syria and claimed progress in a cross-border offensive that has stoked concern among its allies and neighbours.The Turkish military on

Palestinians seek EU support as row with US persists

Palestinians seek EU support as row with US persists

AFP  :Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas will seek EU support in Brussels on Monday amid bitter acrimony with the United States, but he looks unlikely to get much in the

Johnson says UK should welcome Trump

AFP, London :British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called for US President Donald Trump to be welcomed to the UK, warning Sunday that resisting a visit risked damaging his country's

Assad regime promotes Syria's ruins in Aleppo as 'tourist' destination

Assad regime promotes Syria's ruins in Aleppo as 'tourist' destination

AFP, Madrid :It is over a year since Bashar al-Assad's regime, with the help of Russian air strikes and barrel bombs, pounded the rebel-held east of Aleppo into submission.Buildings

Head of popular girl band leads N Korean team to S Korea

Head of popular girl band leads N Korean team to S Korea

AP, Seoul :The head of a hugely popular North Korean girl band crossed the heavily fortified border into South Korea on Sunday to check preparations for rare performances by

Jordan`s king says East Jerusalem must be capital of Palestinian state

Jordan`s king says East Jerusalem must be capital of Palestinian state

Reuters, Amman :Jordan's King Abdullah expressed concern on Sunday over a decision by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying East Jerusalem had to be the capital of