These photos show how Southern California has been devastated by mudslides that killed at least 17 people

montecito mudslide union pacific railroad

At least 17 people have died from massive mudslides in a wealthy Southern California region, according to local authorities.

A heavy storm on Tuesday triggered flash floods and unleashed debris in Montecito, Santa Barbara, around 2:30 a.m. local time (PST), the LA Times reported.

As Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters on Tuesday night: “The best way I can describe it is it looked like a World War One battlefield.”

Rescue crews with dogs and scanners were still looking for at least 13 people reportedly missing on Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said in a Reuters report. One hundred single-family homes were also destroyed and hundreds of other buildings were reportedly damaged.

Take a look at the harrowing scenes below.

A heavy storm in the region triggered flash floods and unleashed debris. The region was especially vulnerable after a series of wildfires. This smashed car on Montecito’s Hot Springs Road, is a small part of of the destruction in the area.

Trees were torn from their roots, houses and cars were destroyed, and people were covered in mud as debris surged down empty streets. This woman was caught up in the chaos, and had to be rescued from a collapsed house.

As of Wednesday, at least 28 people were injured because of the storm.

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