Disaster is following California and the state is now trying to cope with Mudslides that have heaped miseries on the people with at least 13 feared to have been killed. The death toll is expected to rise because rescue in remote and inaccessible areas have been affected due to damaged roads and disruption of normal channels of communication.

Sky News reports that heavy downpours have resulted in Flash Floods and mud, boulders and tons of debris have plummeted down the hills. This has destroyed homes, demolished cars and uprooted trees that have blocked the roads.

Incidentally, these originated in the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County which was in the grip of wildfires last month.

It is another major disaster

In the opinion of officials, it is difficult to handle such situations where uprooted trees and power lines blocked the debris-filled roads. The authorities have begun searching for survivors and have rescued many people who climbed on the rooftops to escape the fury of the flash floods. Many are trapped in canyons and the US coast guard has deployed helicopters to airlift them to safety.

The wealthy enclave of Montecito is one of the areas in California that has been hit hard by the mudslides. It is home to many celebrities who are trying to come to terms with the reality of the mud and debris that have accumulated on their doorsteps.

Is climate change responsible?

The flash floods are believed to have originated in the mountains that faced the ravages of wildfires recently. That disaster had destroyed vegetation and burnt down the trees leaving the soil charred. The soil had lost its binding properties because it was unable to absorb or store water and became easy prey for flash floods which, in turn, led to mudslides.

It was a manmade recipe for disaster. The death toll has already gone beyond the number of fatalities in a similar disaster in the state in January 2005 and could have been avoided if people had paid more attention to arrest global warming which is responsible for many natural disasters.

According to Vox, the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties burned nearly 282,000 acres which add up to nearly 1.6 times the size of New York City.

This was one of several wildfires to hit California and is attributed to a number of factors that have indirect links to global warming. The state had to battle drought and the heat waves played havoc with the environment while strong winds added to the problems. There were apprehensions that the denuded land could face mudslides, and that has actually happened.