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Common Dreams

At Least 8 Dead, Over 100 Missing After Washington Mudslide

Described as 'like quicksand,' mud over 15 feet deep in places

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

(Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

Eight people are confirmed dead and over a hundred people are reportedly still missing on Monday after a landslide devastated a rural community in Washington state over the weekend.

According to officials with the Snohomish County Sheriff's office, 108 people have yet to be accounted for after the mud flow tore through one square mile of a region north of Seattle. The landslide has been linked to groundwater saturation due to heavy rainfall in the area over the past month.

The estimated number of missing persons jumped from 18 after rescue crews scoured the area over the weekend; current estimates are being called a "soft" number.

Snowhomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said on Sunday that rescue crews were "working both sides of the slide" and that "authorities were using helicopters to try to identify heat signatures, or people who may have been able to get free."

The mud flow, which is reportedly 15 feet deep in parts, is described as being "like quicksand."

At least six houses have been completely destroyed and as many as sixteen have been damaged. Describing the scene as "total devastation," Trenary said the damage "reminds me of what a tornado looks like when it's touched the ground."

Updated reports are being posted on Twitter under the hashtag #530slide.


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