According to the information given by the official, At least 13 persons are dead amid “waist-deep” mudslides in US’ southern California, where heavy rains triggered flooding.
Some 163 people have been taken to hospital. Twenty had “storm-related injuries” and four were critically hurt, media reported.
A group of around 300 people were reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon, east of Santa Barbara. A police officer said the scene “looked like a World War One battlefield.”
The flooding and mudslides, affecting areas scorched by wildfires in December 2017, have shut down over 48km of the main coastal highway.
Emergency services said a number of people are unaccounted for and they expect the death toll to rise. Thousands have fled the deluge and over 50 were rescued.
Heavy rain run-off caused mudflow in the community of Montecito, where some homes were knocked from their foundations, the BBC quoted Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason as saying.