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Old 25-03-14, 21:06   #1
 
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United States of America Many Still Missing after Massive US Mudslide

Eight Found dead and 18 Still Missing after Massive US Mudslide Wipes out 30 homes

  • Injured include a 6-month-old boy and an 81-year-old man who remain in critical condition
  • A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning
  • At least three people are dead, several others injured and more forced to evacuate because of flooding fears
  • Crews heard voices late on Saturday night on the eastern edge of the debris field
  • Rescuers were using thermal imaging cameras to help try to find people
  • The mudslide is described as 'like quicksand' and is up to 60ft deep in places
By Daily Mail UK, 25 March 2014


Searchers found another body Sunday in the tangled sludge of a massive landslide in rural Washington state, bringing the death toll to at least four from the wall of debris that swept through a small riverside neighborhood.
Desperate families still wait for news of the about 18 people still unaccounted for after a massive mudslide in rural northwest Washington state killed at least three people and forced evacuations because of fears of flooding, authorities said on Sunday.

Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said at a news briefing that 'we suspect that people are out there, but it's far too dangerous to get responders out there on that mudflow.'









Family members say Christina Jefferds and granddaughter
Sanoah Huestis are both missing since the mudslide devastated the area





Searching: Steve Neal, 52, a husband, father and grandfather, is reportedly among the missing





Among the missing: Summer Raffo's family says she is still
unaccounted for and may have been trapped in her vehicle


King 5 News reports that Christina Jefferds and granddaughter Sanoah Huestis are both missing since the mudslide devastated the area.

Also named by their families are Summer Raffo, who may have been trapped in her vehicle.

52-year-old husband, father, and grandfather Steve Neal is also unaccounted for.
Authorities are also trying to determine how to get responders on the ground safely, Hots said, calling it as 'like quicksand.'

Officials described the deadly slide as 'a big wall of mud and debris' that blocked about one mile of State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle. It was reported about 60 feet deep in some areas.





An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide,
along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington





Robin Youngblood, who survived the landslide that destroyed her house, holds the only item that
survived the disaster, a painting of a Cherokee warrior that was knocked from the wall and muddied





Several people - including an infant - were critically injured and as many as 30 houses were destroyed.
The slide wiped out one neighborhood, where there were about 28 to 30 homes, authorities said.


Hots said the number of missing is fluid and could change because some people may have been in cars and on roads when the slide hit just before 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish County sheriff's office, said Sunday that a total of eight people were injured in the slide.

A 6-month-old boy and an 81-year-old man remained in critical condition Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two men, ages 37 and 58, were in serious condition, while a 25-year-old woman was upgraded to satisfactory condition.
Bruce Blacker, who lives just west of the slide, doesn't know the whereabouts of six neighbors.
"It's a very close knit community," Blacker said as he waited at an Arlington roadblock before troopers let him through. There were almost 20 homes in the neighborhood that was destroyed, he said.





Volunteers carry supplies to help set up an evacuation center at Post Middle School in Arlington
to assist those impacted by the landslide on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish river in Arlington, Wash





The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning





A sign is placed to direct those in need to a Red Cross shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington, Washington


The mud was so thick and deep that searchers turned back late on Saturday after attempting to reach an area where voices were heard crying for help.

Rescuers couldn't hear any signs of life once they got closer, and the decision was made to back out due to safety reasons, Hots said.

The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which prompted an evacuation notice because water was rising rapidly behind the debris.
Authorities worried about severe downstream flooding if water suddenly broke through the debris.

Authorities said Sunday that residents could return home during daylight hours.

The Snohomish County sheriff's office reported that two people had been killed at the scene.

Authorities later said one of the people who had been rescued died at a hospital.





An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River leading up to the landslide, above, that shows a huge volume
of earth missing from the side of a hill, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington





Smashed: A mudslide carried a house with people inside across a road in rural Snohomish County on Saturday





A fatal mudslide brought debris down the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Wash.,
Saturday, March 22, 2014, stopping the flow of the river and destroying several homes





Emergency workers assist at the scene of a mudslide which destroyed
several homes and killed at least three people in Oso, Washington





An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a
hill facing Stillaguamish River, in a landslide along State Route 530


A six-month-old boy and an 81-year-old man remained in critical condition Sunday morning at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two men, ages 37 and 58, were in serious condition, while a 25-year-old woman was upgraded to satisfactory condition.

Five of the injured were taken to Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, and one has been treated and released, hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Egger said She didn't know the condition of the others.

The American Red Cross set up at the hospital, and evacuation shelters were created at Post Middle School in Arlington and the Darrington Community Center.

One eyewitness told the Daily Herald that he was driving on the roadway and had to quickly brake to avoid the mudslide.

'I just saw the darkness coming across the road. Everything was gone in three seconds,' Paulo Falcao told the newspaper.








People who live in the North Fork's flood plain, from the small
communities of Oso to Stanwood, were urged to flee to higher ground





An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River leading up to the landslide, above, that
shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill, along State Route 530





A wide aerial view shows the extensive damage of the landslide after taking out a chunk of earth from the side of the hill facing
the Stillaguamish River, and down into the State Route 530, on the left, between the cities of Arlington and Darrington





Massive: The mudslide is estimated to be a mile long


Search-and-rescue help came from around the region, plus the Washington State Patrol and the Army Corps of Engineers. More than 100 were at the scene.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Snohomish County through Sunday afternoon.

People who live in the North Fork's flood plain, from the small communities of Oso to Stanwood, were urged to flee to higher ground.

Forecasters warned that flooding was also possible north of the slide area. The Weather Service said 'catastrophic flooding' was unlikely downstream, but authorities were taking no chances and urged people to leave.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also proclaimed a state of emergency. He planned to visit the scene on Sunday.





Pouring: Heavy rain over this past week likely contributed to the mudslide





Mystery: It's unclear how many people are inside the house and their conditions


Bart Treece, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said he didn't know how long the two-lane rural road would be closed. Drivers were advised to find another way to get between Darrington and Arlington, he said.

Authorities believe the slide was caused by groundwater saturation from recent heavy rainfall.

Pennington said the area has a history of unstable land. He said a slide also happened there in 2006.

Pennington said Saturday's slide happened without warning.

'This slide came out of nowhere,' he said.








Neighbors gather at the Oso Fire Department looking for updates about the mudslide
that washed over homes and over Highway 530 east of Oso, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014
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