On Monday, rescue teams searching for survivors after Washington’s deadly mudslide found six more bodies, raising the number of confirmed dead to 14.
Tragically, the number of missing people is also on the rise, jumping from 108 earlier Monday to 176 on Tuesday. Authorities, however, have cautioned that many of those could likely be false alarms and duplicates.
Police, dogs and helicopters continue their search, but the threat of a secondary landslide delayed search-and-rescue efforts Monday afternoon.
Emergency management officials said some crews had been pulled off the disaster site in Oso, Wash., because of the danger.
“There is movement on the landslide,” said state geologist Dave Norman.
State officials said geologist from several agencies were on the scene to monitor the hillside, but the slide area remained unsafe for recovery work before beginning again.
But the going was tough, officials said, with some areas “like quicksand” and others chunky hard clay hard to traverse and dig.
Saturday’s mudslide, the result of a hillside collapse, flattened dozens of homes and left tons of debris in its wake. According to NBC, it peeled off a section of the hill that is 1,500 feet wide and 600 feet high. The concern was the land behind that so-called head-scarp might be unstable.
The mud and debris also dammed up a river, which was causing flooding upstream. The water was up to the eaves in seven homes, and officials were considering further evacuations.
President Obama declared a state of emergency in Snohomish County, Wash., because of the mudslide and flooding.
Obama ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts and authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with “the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.”
Search teams in the Snohomish area say they will continue to search for survivors. Our prayers and thoughts are with Washington at this time.
SOURCE: NBC | VIDEO SOURCE: News, Inc.