The number of people missing after a mudslide in Washington area in the US at the weekend has risen to 108, Sky News reported Monday. At least eight people have been confirmed killed in the disaster in a rural area about 90 km northeast of Seattle.
Snohomish County emergency management director John Pennington said construction workers were among the missing, along with passing motorists. He said authorities were still hopeful of finding survivors, but added: “We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday. The situation is very grim.”
“We didn’t see or hear any signs of life out there today,” Snohomish County fire chief Travis Hots was quoted as saying. ”It’s very disappointing to all emergency responders on scene.”
A statement from Snohomish County said flooding was now becoming a concern for homes in the area. ”The North Fork of the Stillaguamish River is continuing to back up and it is confirmed that at least seven homes are now flooded and more flooding is expected.
“Water from the river is trickling through the slide and the creation of a new river channel has been observed,” the statement said. ”Crews have been posted at five downstream bridges to watch the river for debris.”
The landslide destroyed around 30 homes and left several people critically injured. Three people were confirmed dead Saturday, and five more bodies were pulled out Sunday. Search and rescue teams have used helicopters to search for any survivors.