Washington officials say as many as 108 people are unaccounted for after a deadly landslide on Saturday that killed 8 and left seven badly injured.
The disaster occurred when mud and debris from several days of heavy rains came down a hillside and crossed the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, destroying several homes in its path. Authorities estimate that 15 million cubic yards of mud are involved in the slide, affecting the towns of Oso–a rural community of about 180–and Darrington. Search parties have had a difficult time due to the amount of debris clogging up the area and say that unfortunately, because the event occurred on a Saturday when people were home than on a weekday, the number of victims will likely go up.
“Total devastation. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. It reminds me of what a tornado looks like when it’s touched the ground,” Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said.
According to the Seattle Times, those who were rescued right away remain in the care of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle: a 25-year old woman is in satisfactory condition, a 6-month-old boy remains in critical condition in intensive care, a 37-year old man is in serious condition in ICU, a 58-year old man is in serious condition and in ICU, and an 81-year-old man is in critical condition in ICU.
Of the 108 names on the list of those unaccounted for, authorities say they don’t expect those to all be victims; however, anyone with information about potential residents in that area are asked to call 425-388-5088.
“We are still holding out hope we are going to find people alive. We are still in a rescue mode,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said.
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