California mudslide MAP: Thousands still at risk in THESE danger zones authorities warn
At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more are still missing in the mudslides that struck the Montecito area of Santa Barbara on Tuesday morning.
Rescue teams from across the state have been relentlessly working to free those still trapped under the mud, boulders and debris, but several new areas could now be at risk.
A mudslide risk map compiled by geospatial software company ESRI, pinpoints the potential hazard zones around the Ventura and Santa Barbara coastal cities.
More than 10,00 residents and nearly 4,000 households sit within range of the Los Padres National Forest hills and mountains where the mudslide originated from.
Ryan Lanclos, of ESRI’s public safety industry team, said the map’s purpose is to give residents in the covered areas ample warning about the potential flooding risks.
He said: “This map has been made for the general public and the local community near the affected areas.
“We hope this map will help the public better understand the potential impacts of heavy rainfall in the area and how recent wildfires have contributed to a higher risk of debris flow and flooding in certain locations.”
The ESRI map combines data collected from various geographical agencies such as USGS, Bureau of Land Management and NGA as well as NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
California mudslides: These zones could still be affected by further landslides
Some of the High Danger zones include areas north of Toro Canyon, Montecito, Matilija Springs, Sisar Creek and Thacher Creek.
Many of the mountainous areas along the coast are at 80 to 100 percent of developing another mudslide.
Several areas outside of Montecito were told to evacuate on Friday.
Check the embedded map below for your residential area.
Mr Lanclos added: “These maps are published publicly so that anyone can use them to better understand current events and the potential impacts these events might have on the local area.”
Some 100 homes in the picturesque Santa Barbara area have been levelled to the ground on Tuesday, and at least 300 buildings have been damaged.
This map has been made for the general public and the local community near the affected areas
Popular TV personality Ellen DeGeneres, who lives in the area, said that everyone in the 9,000 strong Montecito community was affected by the natural disaster.
She said: “It’s not just a wealthy community, it’s filled with a lot of different types of people from all backgrounds.
“And there are families missing, there are people who are missing family members…it’s catastrophic.”
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Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown warned on Thursday that the number of victims will continue to rise as emergency services continue to work around the clock.
He likened the scenes in Montecito to the muddy trenches of World War One.
Sometime after 2am on Tuesday, intense rain washed down vast amounts of loose soil and rock from the hillsides surrounding Santa Barbara.
A series of intense wildfires tore through the region last month, destroying foliage and turning the ground into loose debris.
California mudslides: Rescue teams are valiantly working around the clock to rescue more victims
About 1,250 emergency workers are now fighting against the clock to find about 43 people that were not accounted for on Thursday night.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason said: “We’ve got a window that’s closing but we’re still very optimistic we’ve got some time.
“There’s been plenty of cases where they’ve found people a week after.”
Rescue crews in Montecito are currently looking for five people missing and feared dead.