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Officials confirm 100 missing, 14 dead after Washington mudslide

Published time: March 24, 2014 16:40
Edited time: March 25, 2014 00:21
A general view of the breach where water from the Stillaguamish River is beginning to move through the dam created by a landslide near State Route 530 near Oso, Washington in this March 23, 2014 picture provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation. (Reuters/Washington State Department of Transportation)

A general view of the breach where water from the Stillaguamish River is beginning to move through the dam created by a landslide near State Route 530 near Oso, Washington in this March 23, 2014 picture provided by the Washington State Department of Transportation. (Reuters/Washington State Department of Transportation)

Officials believe that some 100 people are either missing or unaccounted for in Washington state following a mudslide over the weekend outside of Seattle, which so far has claimed 14 lives.

"It's a soft 108," Snohomish County emergency management director John Penningtonsaid during a Monday morning press conference, the Associated Press reported.

At least 14 bodies had been recovered as of Monday evening while several structures, including around 30 homes, have been decimated as a result of the disaster.

A day earlier, officials said that only 18 people were missing in the one-square-mile impacted by the mudslide. Since then, however, Pennington had added nearly 100 new names to the list after taking into account concerns raised by residents who had not heard from loved ones since earlier this week.

According to the AP’s, Pennington said that figure comes after consolidating lists from various sources who have been scrambling to locate people after the natural disaster occurred early Saturday morning at around 11:00 a.m. local time in the town of Oso, around 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Authorities involved in the search now fear that people may been trapped in their homes or cars after the slide occurred and blanketed parts of the town in 15 feet of mud.

"We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday,” Pennington told authorities on Monday.

"The situation is very grim," added Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots.

“We didn't see or hear any signs of life out there today,” he told the AP. “It’s very disappointing to all emergency responders on scene.”

According to Hots, the scene resembles a “huge square-mile mudflow that's basically like quicksand.” Authorities are expected to continue searching until dusk Monday evening.

Comments (14)

 

Doofor 25.03.2014 07:49

As always, the "authorities&qu ot; mainly care about their image and standing before the civilians they claim to serve. Their concern is to be seen as handling things. They have little interest in learning from this incident, only in damage control.

Why interview the Corp of Engineers, when you can film prayer vigils, and Governors tearing up as they read from teleprompters.

They'll do all they can to keep the public away from this embarrassing situation, rather than prevent further flood damage, or deputize qualified citizens to help search for survivors and clear debris.

 

No 25.03.2014 03:34

No mention of the National Guard, is there?
They must be Guarding in Afghanistan, thousands of miles away.

 

Mike Littlefield 25.03.2014 02:37

From the volume of trip reports on the WTA site for Saturday, it must have been a good weather weekend for recreation, so there may have been a lot of visitors in the area, making a sure count of the missing very difficult. 100+ may be a bit high, but not outside the realm of possibility. And unfortunately, this is the in-between part of the year when SAR resources may be a bit low.

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