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California Mudslide Rescuers Praying For Miracle As Death Toll Could Hit More….

California Mudslide Rescuers Praying For Miracle As Death Toll Could Hit More….

The disaster happened when heavy rain sent thousands of tonnes of sludge and boulders cascading through the town.

That was caused by wildfires in the area last year, which stripped the ground of vegetation which normally holds the soil together in wet weather.

Those wildfires have also been blamed for worsening the mudslide death toll. Some locals say they had ‘evacuation fatigue’ after being ordered to leave home to avoid the blaze.

But it failed to cause any major damage in Montecito, with many deciding to it was safe to ignore warnings this time, only to be proven tragically wrong.

However, desperate rescuers fear they will not find anyone else alive in the California mudslide rubble amid fears the death toll could hit 57.

California Mudslide Rescuers Praying  For Miracle As Death Toll Could Hit More….

Santa Barbara fire Captain Gary Pitney made the grim prediction as his team continued to search for people missing after the disaster in Montecito, CA, saying: ‘At this moment, we are still looking for live victims.

The likelihood is increasing that we’ll be finding bodies, not survivors. You have to start accepting the reality of that.’

Local Sheriff Bill Brown also admitted they were hoping for miracles, with 17 people confirmed dead, and another 40 still missing.

He said: ‘In disaster circumstances, there have been many miraculous stories lasting many days and we certainly are searching for a miracle right now.’

Sniffer dogs have been deployed to try and find victims of the Tuesday night slide, while rescuers are also using long poles to probe the muck for dead bodies.

One person was rescued yesterday, although officials warned those trapped in the sludge were at risk of contracting hypothermia within an hour.

Officials say 64 homes in the town where Oprah Winfrey has a property were destroyed. They added that 24 people were still being treated in hospital, four of them for serious injuries.

 

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