The death toll in a massive mudslide in the US State of Washington has risen to 24 with the discovery of ten more bodies, but the toll is expected to rise much higher, emergency officials said.
Two bodies were recovered and another eight were found but not yet recovered Tuesday, in addition to the 14 deaths already reported, according to Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots.
“We didn’t find any signs of life; we didn’t locate anybody alive,” Hots told reporters. “Our condolences go out to the families that have lost people here.”
The mudslide, which struck on Saturday morning in the rural town of Oso, also resulted in as many as 176 missing person reports, though authorities have said the chances were low of finding any more survivors in the cement-like mud blanketing the landscape.
The disaster, which wiped out the entire village of about 180 residents, ranks as one of the deadliest landslides in recent US history. The square-mile zone of devastation once contained a twisting river surrounded by rural homes.
The White House said President Barack Obama, who was in the Netherlands for a meeting with world leaders, signed an emergency declaration ordering US government assistance to the state and local relief efforts.
The president also called Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday to discuss the mudslide, according to Inslee’s office !!