Los Angeles, Apr 12 (PTI) Authorities in California have set up a joint incident command centre to trace the occupants of a vehicle that was swept away in flood waters, a week after four members of an Indian family went missing in the area.

The search was still on just north of Leggett for an SUV that was swept away with its occupants in flood waters on Friday, which matches the description of the SUV driven by the Thottappilly family missing since Thursday, The Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper reported.

Two adults and two children of the Thottappilly family were on their way from Portland, Oregon, in a maroon Honda Pilot to San Jose, where they suddenly stopped communicating with family in Valencia.

Sandeep Thottappilly, 42, father; Soumya, 38, mother; Siddhant, 12, their son; and 9-year-old Saachi, their daughter were in the SUV when it went missing.

Sandeep worked as a vice-president with the Union Bank and lived in Los Angeles with his family.

Sandeep grew up in Surat city in Gujarat and settled down in the US over 15 years ago, a relative said.

Searchers under the direction of the Garberville California Highway Patrol (CHP) remained at Eel River, just north of Leggett, were still searching, a spokesman for the Gaberville CHP told The Signal newspaper.

On Tuesday, officers with the Garberville CHP set up joint incident command center with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Cal-Fire, Leggett Volunteer Fire, Piercy Volunteer Fire and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue “to organise continuous search efforts for the missing vehicle and occupants,” CHP Officer William Wunderlich wrote in a CHP Facebook post.

“All available resources are being utilised by searching personnel,” he said.

“Through the collaborated efforts of all the involved agencies we are working to resolve this incident as quickly and safely as possible,” Wunderlich wrote.

“Rescue personnel will be searching the immediate and surrounding areas and constantly evaluating the condition of the river and the weather during the search efforts,” he wrote on the latest CHP Facebook post.

The CHP received a report on April 6 of a traffic collision of a vehicle into the Eel River, he said.

The incident happened on US Highway 101 at the Eel River.

“The vehicle was completely submerged in the river due to the heavy rain,” he said. “We are working on finding the vehicle but we are not able to locate it.

“Based on our preliminary investigation and witness statements, we believe the vehicle was a 2016 or 2017 Honda Pilot maroon in colour,” he said.

“This vehicle and the missing person’s vehicle are similar but, at this time, we are unable to confirm its the same vehicle,” Wunderlich said.

“We are searching a broad area but because of the moving river it’s a difficult search,” he said.

San Jose police officers, meanwhile, are trying to locate the missing family, officials said.

A relative of the Thottapilly family who lives in the San Jose area contacted police officers over the weekend regarding the family of four, whom were expected to be at the relative’s house on Friday.

When the Thottapilly family did not show up, the relative became concerned and contacted San Jose Police Department.

“The last time they spoke with the family was on Thursday,” police officer Gina Tepoorten said told the paper.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.