According to local authorities, 17 people are confirmed dead and another 17 people are missing as result of a mudslide in the area between the Pacific Ocean and the Los Padres National Fores.
"Right now, our assets are focused on determining if anyone is still alive in any of those structures that have been damaged," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said.
The sheriff said the forensics office was working around the clock to identify the victims and notify the next of kin. He said they were not ready to disclose their identities but the data would be available in the near future.
Some 500 rescuers with search dogs and thermal imaging equipment as well as military helicopters are still searching for the missing people.