Jan. 13 (UPI) — An 87-year-old man was found dead Saturday, increasing the number of people who have died because of the California mudslides to 18.
A statement from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office said the 87-year-old Montecito man was found inside of his home.
The number of dead could climb as crews continue to search through about 30 square miles of mud and debris in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
Reports of how many remain missing have varied in numbers, with Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown on Thursday saying as many as 43 people might still be missing, adding the toll could fluctuate significantly.
On Saturday, the sheriff’s office released a statement asking for the public’s help in locating several missing related the Jan. 9 storm. The list included names and photos of seven people from age 2 to 62 years old.
On Friday, the sheriff’s department issued a new mandatory evacuation order for an area of Montecito. The evacuation was established because foot and pedestrian traffic was impacting the ability of rescue efforts.
More than 200 residents and 50 staff members at a Santa Barbara retirement community were evacuated Thursday, according to a tweet by the sheriff’s department.