In San Bernardino mountains, residents hit by devastating mudslide fear more to come
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) crews are currently in the midst of a massive search for victims of a mudslide in San Bernardino County, California.
The deadly slide slammed into a canyon floor on an east-west ridge of the San Gabriel Mountains in the early hours of November 1.
The majority of evacuees who remained behind in the small communities of San Bernardino, San Diego and Lake Elsinore were not in any danger, San Bernardino County officials said.
By the time the first responders were able to secure the village of San Bernardino, evacuees had moved into surrounding communities such as San Diego, Lake Elsinore and San Bernardino, according to local officials, who told FEMA’s website that more than 2,000 people in all have been displaced.
Some of those people have now been relocated, but officials estimate that others remain as homeless, in shelters and makeshift camps, or in vehicles.
“At this point in time, we do not have any information that the area is safe,” an FBI spokeswoman told Fairfax Media on Sunday. “We are investigating the incident and have deployed additional resources to the area… to ensure the safety of the people who remain displaced.”
“We are working to assist displaced people with housing, and we have provided them with access to food and water,” she added.
In a statement released late Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security in California cited “the extremely dangerous situation” in the area and a need for “immediate efforts” to locate individuals with missing loved ones, including those who left the community on the night of the slide.
“The need has increased and is growing,” the statement said.
A separate U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesman told the Associated Press that the agency is “coordinating with government and private entities to assist displaced citizens” in the area.
According to media reports, the National Disaster Medical System in Washington state is set to provide medical care to at least 15 people.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Department of Justice are leading the investigation into the cause of the slide and potential civil lawsuits against the company responsible.
The agency has said it is continuing to coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the investigation into the deadly mudslide.
The agency said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is sending