California officials says at least 13 people are dead amid waist-deep mudslides in southern California, where heavy rains triggered flooding.

Report says some 163 people have been taken to hospital, twenty had storm-related injuries and four were critically hurt.

A group of up to 300 people are reportedly trapped in Romero Canyon, east of Santa Barbara.

Emergency services said a number of people were unaccounted for and they expected the number of deaths to rise.

It was gathered that thousands fled the deluge and more than 50 rescues have been performed.

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