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Key California Highway Reopens After Deadly Mudslide

  • VOA News

Workers on the 101 Highway clear mud and debris from the roadway after a mudslide in Montecito, California, U.S. January 12, 2018.

A coastal highway in California has reopened nearly two weeks after it was swamped by a massive mudslide that killed 21 people.

Highway 101, a key north-south route in California, was shut down after it was covered by 12 feet of mud after the deadly mudslide on January 9.

Officials had promised a day earlier that the highway, which carries more than 100,000 vehicles each day, would be open again in time for the Monday morning commute.

The good news for the locals came a day after rescue crews found the body of a 18-year-old mother Faviola Benitez Calderon , the 21st victim of the slide that brought down boulders and trees from hillsides in Montecito made bare by last month's wildfires.

The bodies of Benitez Calderon's 10-year old son, Jonathan Benitez; Jonathan's 3-year-old cousin, Kaily Benitez; and Kaily's mother, 27-year-old Marilyn Ramos, had already been found.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged and a 17-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl remain missing.