The number of people still missing in the wake of a deadly mudslide in Montecito now figures at five, officials said Friday morning.
Authorities said late Thursday that roughly 43 people were unaccounted for after heavy rains pounded the Thomas fire burn scar earlier this week and unleashed a torrent of mud, boulders and debris that killed 17 and destroyed scores of homes. The number of missing had grown, officials said, after authorities combed through social media posts and message boards at evacuation shelters.
Many of those people have since been reported safe, according to Chris Elms, a spokesman for Cal Fire, but the number of people missing remains fluid.
“We’re starting to get to the phase where people are actually calling in and saying, ‘If you’re looking for me, I’m OK,’” Elms said.