Cal­i­for­nia mud­slide vic­tims surges to 48

Observer on Saturday - - News -

The num­ber of peo­ple miss­ing since mud­slides en­gulfed this wealthy coastal town surged to 48 on Thurs­day as hun­dreds of res­cue work­ers slogged through kneedeep ooze and used long poles to probe for bod­ies. The num­ber of con­firmed dead stood at 17.

The huge in­crease in those un­ac­counted for came as au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gated miss­ing-per­sons re­ports, said Santa Bar­bara County spokesper­son Am­ber Anderson.

CAL­I­FOR­NIA - Fluc­tu­ated

The num­ber has fluc­tu­ated since the dis­as­ter struck in the early morn­ing dark­ness on Tues­day and was as low as 16 on Wed­nes­day even­ing. The new count raised fears that the dis­as­ter was far worse than au­thor­i­ties imag­ined.

Fam­ily mem­bers have been anx­iously await­ing word on loved ones as the search goes on.

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