WASHINGTON, 10 January (BelTA - Anadolu Agency) - Santa Barbara County Sherriff's office spokesperson Kelly Hoover confirmed 13 people died as a result of the devastating rains and mudflows in Southern California. Additional details on the deaths were not immediately available.
The powerful storm laid waste to neighborhoods in the wealthy coastal enclave of Montecito, which lies just east of Santa Barbara and north of Los Angeles.
Rescuers used heavy vehicles, including military equipment, to brave badly damaged, mud-clogged streets.
Fifty people were rescued by helicopter and dozens more were saved in ground operations, Santa Barbara County said in a press release.
Several homes have been destroyed by mudflows, Mike Eliason, a spokesperson with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said on the social media site.
Seven thousand people have been ordered to evacuate while over 23,000 others have been asked to leave voluntarily.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing, it said on Twitter.More about Society