According to local fire authority, mudslides in Montecito, California on Tuesday January 9, 2017, have left 20 dead and four people still missing.
The mudslides began on Tuesday morning, and destroyed almost 70 homes in Montecito, a notable neighborhood in Santa Barbara, California, and home to famous stars like Ellen Degeneres and Oprah Winfrey.
The mudslides were caused by heavy rainfall during the weekend after the devastating wildfires that recently destroyed the area. The loose debris caused by the fire were disturbed by the rainwater, and shifted to create loose and deadly mud, which quickly slid into Montecito
Despite the large fatality count and missing persons list, many people say that the only reason the mudslides gained as much attention as they did was because of the high caliber celebrities that resided in the area. They argued that if something like this was to happen anywhere else, there would be no widespread affect.
Some of these famous residents of Montecito, who were affected by the mudslides, have used their platform to show the damage done to their homes and estates. Oprah Winfrey facetimed Ellen Degeneres on her daytime talk show to show how she had to travel through her backyard, knee-deep in mud, to get to firemen rescue.
There were widespread evacuations throughout the affected area, however California officials say they were not very efficient. Many of the voluntary evacuation areas were heavily impacted by the mudslide, filled with destroyed homes and some of the bodies of people who decided to stay.
Cleanup efforts have been made nonstop since the event occurred, some even reopening completely blocked off highways and streets. However an emergency order from the State of California allows Santa Barbara county to dump some of this excessive mud into nearby beaches, causing more problems for the tourism hotspot.
No matter where, natural disasters can cause problems for people of the community, and it is important to amend disaster workers and firefighters for their constant work to improve the lives of others.
Destruction caused by the mudslides.
Photo credit: ABC News