U.S. Landslide Kills 14 While 176 Still Missing

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | March 25, 2014 4:28 PM EST

The U.S. mudslide has left at least 14 people dead, while over 176 people are still missing.

The White House has declared federal help, while the devastating landslide in Washington was described as "a small earthquake," Nine MSN reported. Snohomish County Fire chief Travis Hots called the situation "very grim" and said that no one was found alive. On the other hand, Emergency Management Chief John Pennington said that the community might be heading to a "recovery operation." Even though he called himself as someone who believed in miracles, most of the people would not expect anyone to be found alive, he said.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/Pool
A landslide and structural debris blocks Highway 530 near Oso, Washington March 23, 2014.

The landslide which took place at around 55 miles northeast of Seattle on Saturday, March 22, destroyed at least 30 homes, according to BBC. Search crews have been working tirelessly, while helicopters are used frequently. Neighbours and family members used bare hands as well as chainsaws to dig through debris in search of their loved ones. While the number of missing people has touched 176, there are possibilities that a few duplicate names exist in the list. The number is expected to "drop dramatically," according to Mr Pennington.

Snohomish County Sheriff spokesperson Shari Ireton said that the number of lifeless bodies recovered so far was 14, while the latest update on the number came on Monday afternoon. In addition to the death toll, missing people and destruction of houses, the state highly close to Arlington has been blocked due to wreckage, Peninsula Daily News reported. According to authorities, at least 25 out of 49 structures in the neighbourhood were full-time residences.

People became more frustrated after the update on the dead and the missing had been officially announced. One of the local residents named Elaine Young found several bodies with the help of her neighbours. She got in though with the authorities on Sunday to notify them about it. It was probably one of the rare moments of relief when she discovered Buddy, a chocolate Labrador, alive. The dog was taken out of the rubble, but none of its family members was recovered.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/Pool / )
A landslide and structural debris blocks Highway 530 near Oso, Washington March 23, 2014.
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