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California mudslides: Death toll rises after searchers find body

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01:14 - Source: CNN
Rivers of mud wreak havoc in California
CNN —  

Search and rescue crews found the body of a 25-year-old woman Saturday morning, raising the death toll from the California mudslides to 19, authorities said.

The body of Morgan Corey of Montecito was found in mud and debris, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said. Her 12-year-old sister, Sawyer, was found dead earlier this week.

Five people are now missing, the sheriff said, and searchers continue to go through damaged and destroyed homes.

Emergency workers on the ground have doubled since Thursday, with about 1,250 trying to find and rescue those still trapped, Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson said.

Rescuers have been searching frantically for the missing since rivers of mud and boulders plowed through neighborhoods in and near Montecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara, demolishing homes and leaving roads impassable.

Rescuers have searched frantically for the missing after rivers of mud and boulders flooded through neighborhoods in and near Montecito, an affluent seaside community east of Santa Barbara, demolishing homes and leaving roads impassable.

“In disaster circumstances, there have been many miraculous stories of people lasting many days. We certainly are searching for a miracle right now,” Brown said Thursday.

“But realistically we suspect that we are going to continue to have discovery of people who were killed in this incident.”

How to help the victims of the California mudslides

Evacuation zone increased

The areas where people were killed are under mandatory evacuation, and officials increased the size of the evacuation zone Thursday as authorities continue their search and rescue efforts.

“We know that this a terribly inconvenient development, but it is also incredibly necessary,” Brown said. “This entire area is a very active rescue and recovery and repair zone right now.”

“This entire area is a very active rescue and recovery and repair zone right now,” he said in announcing the new mandatory evacuation boundaries.