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.
— Tyler Slauson (@tslauson) March 25, 2014
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.
— The Big Picture (@big_picture) March 24, 2014
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.