First Responders Search For Survivors After Deadly California Mudslides

Their home was destroyed Tuesday in a mudslide.

In response to the mudslides, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services activated the State Operations Center in Mather, California and is coordinating closely with local, state and federal emergency response agencies to address all emergency management needs.

Officials rose the number of missing from 16 to 48 Thursday morning, then said a "clerical error" caused the spike; they corrected the number, saying only eight people were missing.

The search for additional possible victims is continuing. The dead ranged in age from three to 89.

NeoTract, a maker of devices used in the medical field of urology, has launched a fundraising page asking for financial support for the family of Kim Cantin.

David Cantin, 49. The father of Lauren Cantin, the 14-year-old girl whose rescue was one of Tuesday's most dramatic stories. The house was flattened hours earlier by the deadly storm-triggered mudslide that ravaged the Montecito area. "What a day!" so she captioned the post.

The mudslides and flood waters have also affected land in close proximity to wildfires that raged recently in Southern California, including the Thomas Fire, which has burned 281,893 acres to date.

Rebecca Riskin, 61. Founder of real estate agency Riskin Partners; former dancer with American Ballet Theater in NY. She hoped to find them in a shelter or hospital.

The statement says Riskin was an "exceptional woman" who had exuded strength, grace and elegance.

New Protest Calls As Tunisia Marks Uprising Anniversary
The protests draw on anger over price and tax increases included in this year's budget that took effect on 1 January. The president said he would visit a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Tunis that had been the scene of street protests.

The geological survey urges people to stay awake when conditions may be unsafe, monitor broadcast storm reports and listen for unusual sounds that could indicate something is moving.

The evacuation order came as authorities announced a spike in the number of residents still unaccounted for.

Thousands were without power, and there are reports of injuries and authorities have confirmed at least two fatalities in connection with the mudslides.

"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. "There hasn't been a sound definition of what constitutes a missing person".

"Floodwaters and mudslides destroyed 65 homes and damaged 462 other residences", spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild said Thursday, according to CNN. For days, the county had issued repeated warnings via social media, news media and emails about the potential for mudslides. They also created the flawless conditions for the devastating mudslides that followed.

The storm also flooded Highway 101 with water, mud and debris, and Caltrans closed both sides of the road from Highway 150 in Carpinteria to Milpas Street in Santa Barbara through midday on January 15.

The one-two punch of fire and downpour-fueled debris flows have debilitated the affluent, picturesque community of about 10,000 people.

On Wednesday, the death toll in the flash floods was raised to 17, with another 17 missing.

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