US landslide death toll rises to 24

2014-03-26 07:39
A helicopter and waiting ground crew transfer a worker injured working on the mudslide into a waiting ambulance from a Snohomish County helicopter near Oso. (File, AP)

A helicopter and waiting ground crew transfer a worker injured working on the mudslide into a waiting ambulance from a Snohomish County helicopter near Oso. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Arlington - Rescuers digging through the debris of a monster US landslide found another 10 bodies on Tuesday, officials said, bringing the death toll to 24 with potentially more than 170 still unaccounted for.

A day of rain hampered efforts to find survivors in the vast pile of mud and timber which crashed into the tiny town of Oso on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, we didn't find any signs of life," Snohomish County fire district chief Travis Hots told reporters, three days after the catastrophe in the north-western US state of Washington.

He said two more bodies had been recovered, adding to the 14 corpses already brought out, while eight more were located in the debris

The number of reports of people unaccounted for remains at 176, although that could include double-counting and people who may turn up elsewhere, and so likely does not represent how many more fatalities may be found.

'We haven't lost hope'

A total of 49 dwellings in the rural town were hit by the 2.5 square kilometre wall of mud, rocks and trees, which also destroyed part of a highway some 95km northeast of Seattle.

Hots said the massive emergency operation was still aimed at rescuing survivors as well as recovering bodies, even though the chances of finding people alive diminish with each day.

"We haven't lost hope that there's a possibly that we can find someone," he said.

The National Guard joined local and state emergency workers after President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Washington State.

"I would just ask all Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state and the community of Oso and the families and friends of [the missing]," said Obama.

Obama: 'tough situation'

"We hope for the best, but we recognise that this is a tough situation," he added in the Netherlands, where he was attending a nuclear security summit.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) will help "save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Snohomish County", said the White House.

Officials insist finding survivors is still possible, even there have been no signs of life since Saturday.

"I believe in miracles and I believe people can survive these events," said emergency management chief John Pennington, adding: "They've done it before, they can do it again".

One volunteer fire-fighter described the landslide as "quicksand, where you could easily sink up to your armpits".

He described seeing signs of structures peeking through a dense layer of fallen timber and earth, adding that it had blocked the Stillaguamish river, which had started to flood the Darrington area.

'Increasingly unstable'

"The rising river and floodwaters are making the slide areas nearest the banks increasingly unstable," the emergency worker, who did not give his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media, told AFP.

New help on Tuesday included over 60 National Guardsmen, and up to 100 volunteers, officials said.

Washington state governor Jay Inslee paid tribute to all the emergency services helping the rescue effort, from local to federal.

'Small-town, can-do spirit'

"There's a small town, can-do spirit here at work. It's good to have the White House as well," he said.

"We know we still have families in tremendous grief and anxiety, and we're going to do everything we can to relieve that as soon as humanly possible," he added.

The local fire chief said the rescue and recovery operation would be a long one, but pledged to try to find every last victim.

"This is going to be a very long-term event. This will be something that goes into the weeks," said Hots, adding: "We're going to do our very best to get everybody out of there."
Read more on:    barack obama  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.