Rescuers resume work as 17 confirmed dead in California mudslides

Rescuers resume work as 17 confirmed dead in California mudslides

In response to the mudslides, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California and is coordinating closely with local, state and federal emergency response agencies to address all emergency management needs. In addition, there are at least 28 people who were injured by the storm and 8 people who are presumed missing.

At the start of a news conference, Brown named six people still missing.

"He is in an out-of-area hospital being treated". But within an hour they said they had made a clerical error, and the actual number of missing was eight.

"Realistically we suspect we are going to have the discovery of more people killed in this incident", Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Thursday news briefing, adding that he was hoping to find "miracle" survivors. "This is a constantly changing list", he said. No further details were released about his death.

A family of five were also plucked from the debris of their home in a dramatic rescue. Their ages range from 2 to 53.

The hardest hit homes, officials said, were those not in the evacuation zone.

The Benitez brothers survived.

Jonathan Benitez was 10 years old.

Jennifer Ramos says Marilyn Ramos called home daily to her family in her native town of Marquelia near Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast.

Officials said secondary searches of damaged structures were under way.

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All of the dead were killed by "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides", authorities said.

Authorities announced Thursday that 73-year-old Peter Fleurat was among those who died in Montecito.

The aftermath in Montecito showed the destructive power of the debris flows: Home foundations swept bare, tangled piles of shattered debris, head-high boulders strewn about and the deaths of residents. Another, who lost her life at her home, was a ballerina turned real-estate agent known in some quarters of this enclave for the wealthy and famous as "The First Lady of Luxury Real Estate". They then issued a county-wide alert at 3:51 a.m., when the debris flow was already starting.

In this photo provided by Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Fire Search Dog Reilly looks for victims in damaged and destroyed homes in Montecito, Calif. following deadly runoff of mud and debris from heavy rain on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.

The mudslides struck earlier this week after heavy rain battered Montecito, where much of the vegetation had been wiped out by a recent spate of wildfires - the most destructive in California's history.

Mudslides in Montecito have claimed the lives of at least 17 people, and more than a dozen remain missing. "You know there are looters being caught and there are so many gawkers and people that just have no business being in here".

The number of confirmed fatalities remains at 17.

Three more people were rescued from the path of debris on Wednesday.

"Once the freeway opens up, fingers crossed, we are counting on bouncing back", said Johnson, the restaurant manager, who has had to cut back on workers in the meantime, while dealing with delayed produce deliveries.