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Southern California Mudslide Victims

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Nikolai Sorokin (Dollar Photo Club)
At least 15 people have been killed from mudslides caused by heavy rain in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown called it "a very somber day," and said the deaths were due to the storm.

Heavy rain in Santa Barbara County triggered the slides in the middle of the night near Montecito, California. The water caused mud and boulders to slide off the mountain into neighborhoods in the town. 8 people were killed and 25 people were injured in Montecito, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason.

The slides occurred in the area of the massive Thomas fire that recently was extinguished. Burned landscapes are less capable of absorbing water, making them more susceptible to flooding and mudslides.

The search for survivors was still underway Tuesday afternoon, with many places inaccessible.

Emergency responders have been able to rescue people trapped from the mudslides. Crews rescued six people and a dog after four homes were destroyed with the help of a rescue dog.

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