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Mudslides Devastate California

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Mudslides have surged through California leaving at least 21 dead. Those killed range from age 3 to age 89.

The mudslides started January 9th in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. Rain poured down on hills devastated by wildfires, which burned vegetation that normally would have made the area more resistant to mudslides.

Rescuers plan to search several areas for survivors a second time. Emergency workers have also been doubled to about 1,250. The evacuation zone has also increased in size. Santa Barbara County Sherriff Bill Brown said to CNN, “In disaster circumstances, there have been many miraculous stories of people lasting many days. We certainly are searching for a miracle right now… But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident.”

Oprah shocked by the devastation.

Notable pop culture icons such as Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres have also been affected by the mudslides. Ellen DeGeneres spoke to Oprah on The Ellen Show and said, “It is as devastating as it can be.” She also explained that “the neighbors out back, their houses are gone.”

Montecito is set to be the area most negatively affected by the mudslides. Randall Jibson spoke to CNN to explain “Montecito may be at slightly less risk now, because this week’s flooding already brought down vulnerable material… But no storm brings down everything that is susceptible. There’s almost always more.”

The 21st victim of the mudslides, Faviola Benitez Calderon, was found just yesterday, January 21st, nearly two weeks after the initial mudslides. Faviola was one of three people still missing after the mudslides destroyed hundreds of homes in the area, and Faviola’s own home was swept away leaving her son, niece, and sister-in-law also among those killed.

Not everything is bleak, though. A couple that lives in California had their home destroyed, and when they evacuated they immediately told the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) that their cat was still in the home. Their cat Koshka was located after days of searching and reunited with her family.

The Dodo via youtube

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