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Thirteen dead amid California heavy rains and mudslides

Photo: Reuters

At least 13 people are dead amid “waist-deep” mudslides in Southern California, where heavy rains triggered flooding, say officials, the BBC reports.

Some 163 people have been taken to hospital. Twenty had “storm-related injuries” and four were critically hurt.

A group of up to 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon, east of Santa Barbara.

Police said the scene “looked like a World War One battlefield”.

The flooding and mudslides, affecting areas scorched by wildfires last month, have shut down more than 30 miles (48km) of the main coastal highway.

Emergency services said a number of people are unaccounted for and they expect the death toll to rise.

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