In San Bernardino mountains, residents hit by devastating mudslide fear more to come
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A mudslide in San Bernardino County has claimed more than 60 lives, with rescue crews poised to take the body of the deceased and continue their search for the missing Thursday.
“We are still waiting on ambulances and search and rescue to finish their jobs and that’s when we’ll know that it’s over,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Lt. Dan Moore said Thursday morning.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Moore said officials believe the mudslide was a “very fast movement.” But investigators have no indication of what triggered it, he said.
The mudslide, which began Thursday morning, has cut off access to the city of Ridgecrest and forced the evacuation of nearly 30,000 residents, local media reported.
“It was a nightmare,” one resident, who did not want to be identified, told FOX40. “I thought it was a terrorist bombing. It was so loud, I was really worried.”
Among those missing was San Bernardino Mayor R.S. Grijalva, one of seven people killed, according to police.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Grijalva’s mother, Gloria Grijalva. “We miss him so terribly.”
The mayor was pronounced dead at the scene, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, who said he arrived on the scene about 4:30 a.m.
The mayor had been on a tour of Ridgecrest and the surrounding area with Mayor Steve Linn, McMahon said.
San Bernardino Mayor Steve Linn of Westmont arrives with the body of Mayor R.S. Grijalva of San Bernardino, in San Bernardino in 2010. AP Photo/Mark Boster
Grijalva, 55, was an active member of the community and a strong advocate for public safety, McMahon said.
“He will be remembered by many for his passion for service to his community. He will be dearly missed by his friends, his family, his staff and especially his staff, who worked tirelessly with