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Twenty dead as search for California mudslide survivors grinds on

From Reuters - January 14, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The search for survivors of the deadly mudslides in parts of Californias Santa Barbara County continued Sunday even as hopes dwindled to find anyone alive, officials said.

Were still in rescue mode and we still hope to find someone alive, although the chances of that are becoming slim, said Justin Cooper, a spokesperson for the multi-agency response team.

The death toll rose to 20 on Sunday with four people still missing, Cooper said.

Another 900 emergency personnel arrived this weekend to join the relief effort conducted by more than 2,100 personnel from local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and the American Red Cross.

The ramped-up rescue effort is in response to urgent requests for additional manpower made earlier in the week.

Heavy rains on Tuesday soaked the area near Montecito, north of Los Angeles, where vegetation had been stripped away by the largest wildfire in Californias history last month.

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