04:10 GMT +319 March 2018
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    An abandoned car is seen stuck in flooded water on the 101 freeway after a mudslide in Montecito, California, U.S. January 10, 2018

    WATCH: Horrific Footage Shows Deadly California Mudslides

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    Mudflows and flooding have swept away a hundred homes in Santa Barbara County’s wealthy area of Montecito and prompted the evacuation of 21,000 people across Southern California.

    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.


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