Washington Mudslide Update: Death Toll Climbs to 18; Churches to Honour Victims, Funeral Plans Already Underway

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By Alyssa Ashley Lucas | March 31, 2014 1:19 PM EST

As the search for the missing persons continues, following the devastating mudslide in the state of Washington, the death toll climbs to a height of 18 with 10 more bodies still to be extricated and properly identified by medical examiners.

REUTERS/Handout
Washington National Guard rescue workers continue their search through the mud and wreckage left behind by Saturday's mudslide as they look for signs of missing persons in Oso, Washington March 28, 2014.

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Despite the depressing body count of 28 with 10 still to be identified there is news that the number of missing persons from the March 22 mudslide in the town of Oso in Washington, dropped from 90 to a staggering count of 30 as the officials were able to identify dozens of people as "safe and well."

On March 30, according to Reuters, churches decided to honour the victims during Sunday's church services as the catastrophe continues to bring tears to many people, including family and friends still waiting for updates from the rescue teams and officials.

On Saturday, March 29, more rescuers joined forces to heighten the search despite the rains and strong winds that made it harder for rescue workers to go through debris and mud that has now tainted the town of Oso.

A week after the 600-foot hill above the north folk of the Stillaguamish River washed out the homes and lives and many people, funeral homes already started to make plans for the people that were not able to make it through the devastation.

The Weller Funeral Home in the town of Arlington, which was only a few miles from the site of the mudslide, is reported to be already preparing funerals for the Oso mudslide victims this week. Normally, the staff members of the funeral home were used to only preparing funerals for two to three people, but this time the staffs are preparing for 12.

"Some people who have come here, they've only found one family member, and they're now searching for the fourth or sixth member of the family," Dian Wilson-Simon told Reuters.

Since Saturday's Washington mudslide, not one human body was pulled out alive from the rubble. A Snohomish County official named Ron Brown even admitted that the rubble may be the final resting place for some of the victims that were buried deeply and cannot be found.

Most people, however, still cling to the brighter side with hope that the mudslide will not stop them from moving on and pushing through to a new phase of their lives.

Washington Mudslide Updates:

More Rescuers Sift Through Debris and Mud, Death Toll Expected to Rise

Family Dog Survived and Gets Rescued

Oso Much Hope: Action Sports Shop in Downtown Arlington Displays Washington Mudslide Support T-Shirts [PHOTOS]

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(Photo: REUTERS/Handout / )
Washington National Guard rescue workers continue their search through the mud and wreckage left behind by Saturday's mudslide as they look for signs of missing persons in Oso, Washington March 28, 2014.
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