Washington mudslide’s confirmed death toll rises to 16 . Rescuers may have located 8 more bodies bringing the count to 24.

 Earth Watch Report  –  Mudslides

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The remains of a home destroyed by a mudslide near Oso, Wash., on Saturday.

( Marcus Yam / Seattle Times / March 25, 2014 )

The remains of a home destroyed by a mudslide near Oso, Wash., on Saturday.

 

 

A body is carried out of a home destroyed by the mudslide.

Washington mudslide

( Joshua Trujillo / Associated Press / March 24, 2014 )

A body is carried out of a home destroyed by the mudslide.

 

 

An aerial view of the mudslide shows where the hillside gave way.

Washington mudslide

( Washington State Department of Transportation / March 23, 2014 )

An aerial view of the mudslide shows where the hillside gave way.

 

 

See Additional Photos Here

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Washington mudslide’s confirmed death toll rises to 16

The confirmed death toll for the Washington state mudslide rose to 16 on Tuesday night, and officials said rescuers might have located eight more bodies. If so, that would bring the toll to 24.

The day was rainy and difficult for the more than 200 rescue personnel scouring the mud and slurry just east of Oso, using cadaver dogs and sometimes their hands to pick through the wreckage.

“We didn’t find any signs of life; we didn’t locate anybody alive,” Travis Hots, chief of Snohomish County Fire District 21, told reporters. “Our condolences go out to the families that have lost people here.”

About 49 homes were smashed in northwestern Washington, about an hour north of Seattle, when a massive segment of land cut away from a hill along the Stillaguamish River on Saturday.

Rescuers have found no survivors since the first day, and have been holding out diminishing hope for a miracle rescue. Instead, the death toll has continued to rise, with two more bodies recovered Tuesday, Hots said.

 

Read More Here

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CNN U.S.

Hope for survivors of landslide dims as death toll rises as high as 24

By Ed Payne, Ana Cabrera and Mariano Castillo, CNN
updated 10:18 PM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
Watch this video

After landslide, search for missing ahead

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Two more bodies have been recovered and up to eight more have been located
  • NEW: Lists of missing and unaccounted for are being revised, an official says
  • The body of a Navy commander and his dog have been recovered, the family says
  • Landslide has affected or destroyed nearly 50 structures, officials say

Darrington, Washington (CNN) — Brenda Neal was still at the firehouse at midnight, watching as rescuers caked with mud returned from the search for survivors of a massive landslide in rural Washington state.

But they had no answers for her about her missing husband, Steven.

There was despair on their faces, she said.

Rescuer: Houses exploded from the mud

Rescuers on Tuesday continued to battle debris and mud — with the consistency of quicksand in some places — in the search for survivors, but hopes dimmed as news broke that more bodies were found.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any signs of life,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters during a briefing.

The number of dead climbed to as high as 24 with the recovery Tuesday of two more bodies and another eight believed to have been located in the debris.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the dead nor did they provide details about where the bodies were found.

At least 176 people are unaccounted for. Officials have stressed those unaccounted for are not necessarily all victims of the disaster. They say they believe many names have been duplicated.

Three sheriff’s deputies who specialize in missing persons cases have begun reviewing the lists to get a more accurate count,Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said.

Steven Neal’s family holds out hope, despite discouraging signs.

Neal is a plumber who was on a service call in the area where the landslide hit.

“None of us feel like he’s gone,” Brenda Neal said.

Her daughter, Sara, agreed: “I think if anyone had a chance to getting through, it would be him.”

The waiting came to end Tuesday for the family of U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, 49, whose body and that of his dog were found by his brothers, his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton, told CNN. Still missing is Regelbrugge’s wife, she said.

On Monday, search efforts yielded a grim result — six bodies.

But searchers still are going through the area with the hopes of making rescues, Pennington said earlier Tuesday morning.

“I believe in miracles, and I believe people can survive these events. They’ve done it before,” and they can do it again, he told reporters.

The landslide covered about a square mile and was caused by groundwater saturation tied to heavy rain in the area over the past month. It affected Oso, with a population of about 180, and Darrington, a town of about 1,350.

Authorities have been warning the search area remains unstable

A volunteer rescue worker was injured Tuesday while working in an area where the landslide struck, according to a statement released by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The rescue worker was hit in the head by debris kicked up “in helicopter wash,” it said.

President Barack Obama, in the Netherlands on Tuesday, asked that “all Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state and the community of Oso.”

Obama said he had spoken with Gov. Jay Inslee and signed an emergency declaration.

Early hopeful signs, such as the rescue of a 4-year-old boy on the day of the landslide, have faded for some.

Read More Here

 

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Up to 24 dead, 176 missing in Wash. landslide

Navy commander among dead

UPDATED 4:05 AM CDT Mar 25, 2014
By Ed Payne, Ana Cabrera and Mariano Castillo CNN
Washington mudslide 1

Washington State Transportation Department

 

 

 

 

DARRINGTON, Washington (CNN) —Brenda Neal was still at the firehouse at midnight, watching as rescuers caked with mud returned from the search for survivors of a massive landslide in rural Washington state.

But they had no answers for her about her missing husband, Steven.

There was despair on their faces, she said.

Rescuers on Tuesday continued to battle debris and mud — with the consistency of quicksand in some places — in the search for survivors, but hopes dimmed as news broke that more bodies were found.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any signs of life,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters during a briefing.

The number of dead climbed to as high as 24 with the recovery Tuesday of two more bodies and another eight believed to have been located in the debris.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the dead nor did they provide details about where the bodies were found.

At least 176 people are unaccounted for. Officials have stressed those unaccounted for are not necessarily all victims of the disaster. They say they believe many names have been duplicated.

Three sheriff’s deputies who specialize in missing persons cases have begun reviewing the lists to get a more accurate count, Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said.

Steven Neal’s family holds out hope, despite discouraging signs.

Neal is a plumber who was on a service call in the area where the landslide hit.

“None of us feel like he’s gone,” Brenda Neal said.

Her daughter, Sara, agreed: “I think if anyone had a chance to getting through, it would be him.”

The waiting came to end Tuesday for the family of U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, 49, whose body and that of his dog were found by his brothers, his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton, told CNN. Still missing is Regelbrugge’s wife, she said.

On Monday, search efforts yielded a grim result — six bodies.

But searchers still are going through the area with the hopes of making rescues, Pennington said earlier Tuesday morning.

 

Read More Here

 

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Massive Mudslide Kills 3 And Destroys Homes In Washington State


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