A storm in southern California unleashed heavy mudslides and flash floods in the area due to recent wildfires that burned down vegetation. Debris-filled mud and water destroyed several homes and killed at least 13 people.

Mudslides in California yesterday

Mudslides in California yesterday Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

At least 13 people were killed in southern California on Tuesday as heavy rains triggered floods and dense mudslides that destroyed homes and property. The destruction was described by Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown as looking “like a World War I battlefield.”

Brown told reporters that at least 13 people were killed in the heavy storm and mudslides. “It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, down trees, power lines, wrecked cars – lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes,” he said. “While we hope it will not, we expect that this number will increase as we continue to look for people who are still missing and unaccounted for.”

Emergency dispatchers received about 600 calls during the night, Brown said. Rescue services assisted at least 50 people in the Montecito area.

The heavy rain in the region came after the recent wildfires that hit California. Thousands of residents of southern California were instructed to evacuate ahead of the storm for fear of flash floods aggravated by the loss of vegetation in the fires. Another 20,00 residents received voluntary evacuation warnings.