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Tech Holiday beach cordoned off as Second World War bomb is blown up after EIGHT rockets found on the sands

'Even though a lot are practice rounds, they still contain a lot of explosives that could cause injuries. 'But there has been a fairly significant landslide occurred due to the erosion and bad weather which has caused it to slip.'Share what you thinkThe comments below have not been moderated. Titus, Manchester, United Kingdom, 16 minutes ago Woman finds three shells on sand (beach)...No.

ByCarol Driver

Published: 09:00 GMT, 23 April 2014 | Updated: 10:26 GMT, 23 April 2014

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A popular beach was cordoned off after eight Second World War explosives were found on the busy Bank Holiday Monday.

Bomb disposal experts were called to blow up one device which was still live on Mappleton beach in Humberside.

A 200-metre cordon was put in place by Hornsea Coastguard and Humberside Police while the explosives were investigated after a woman walking along the sands at lunchtime found three shells.

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Explosive: Bomb disposal experts blow up a stray explosive device on Mappleton beach

Emergency: One of the eight explosives that were found on the beach in East Yorkshire on Monday

In total, eight devices were found with one still live and officials believed they had been washed down from the cliffs above.

A spokesman for the Coastguard said: 'After determining that most of the ordnance was safe, one device was still live and had to be detonated in location.'

The area was dubbed Bomb Alley Beach after a landslide in 2012 saw 1,000 rockets and grenades  tumble out of the cliffs three quarters of a mile away. 

Evacuated: A 100-metre cordon was put in place by Hornsea Coastguard on the beach on Monday

Search: The incident took five hours to make the beach safe again after eight bombs were found

Chris Cook, Coastguard Rescue Officer at Hornsea, said it took the team more than five hours to make the area safe - and warned members of the public to be vigilant. 

'It's something people always need to be aware of. The area is designated Ministry of Defence as it's the old bombing range used by the RAF,' he said.

'Even though a lot are practice rounds, they still contain a lot of explosives that could cause injuries. The safest option is to assume they are live as it's not worth taking a chance.'

In 2012, residents were told they weren't in any danger, after 1,000 missiles fell in a landslide.

Bomb Beach Alley: Rockets were found after a landslide on Mappleton beach in 2012

The weapons, including rockets, mortars and 25lb (11kg) shells, took days to clear after the 2012 landslide

The Second World War missiles had buried themselves in the earth cliffs after missing their target when the area was used as a practice bombing range from the war until the early 1970s.

At the time, nearby families said they had no idea there was any danger.

Joyce Nicholson said: ‘I did not know anything about this. It’s disgusting they have not sorted this out in nearly 70 years. This place is very popular.

‘There needs to be more warning signs and bigger warning signs especially this time of year when hundreds of children will be coming down. The whole beach should be closed really but I suppose they do not want to scare everybody.

‘It is not that far from the beach to where the bombs are and if they are blowing things up they really should tell people.’

2012 landslide: The coastline was used as a practice bombing range during WWII and the 1970s

The East Riding beach of Mappleton, near Hornsea, was used as a practice bombing range during the Second World War

Mike Puplett, watch manager at Humber Coastguard, told MailOnline in 2012: 'It’s an old firing range from World War Two and an area where we do get explosives and grenades.

'When the cliff sinks it is a fairly regular occurrence that we get one or two.

'But there has been a fairly significant landslide occurred due to the erosion and bad weather which has caused it to slip.'

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Titus, Manchester, United Kingdom, 16 minutes ago

Woman finds three shells on sand (beach)...No!

Tucker, Kings Lynn, 49 minutes ago

The greatest danger those inert (blue = inert practice munition) munitions present is someone stubbing their toe on them. Still, shame to ruin a good story with facts eh DM?

Americanblood1, Duluth, United States, 51 minutes ago

I didn't notice any of the warning signs posted there but all the signs should simply state that any and all bomb devices are to be considered extremely dangerous, or just wait until some child or adult gets killed like normal I guess. Using some basic common sense could really help here from both sides.How about just cleaning up the area once or twice a year? Might look a tad better as well.

D.L. Stephens, York. England, 56 minutes ago

Mappleton is not Humberside. Humberside was an offensive abberation that was used for a few years but never accepted by the inhabitants ( except in the Euro loving town halls of course). It was abolished several years ago and the ancient and correct designation of East Yorkshire returned If journalists travelled beyond Watford they may know this.

spitfire, plymouth, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

As already stated, they're not WW2 and are blue which in NATO means inert they're a whole mix of type's but none of which were ever used by the Luftwaffe. They were probably dumped at the end of the cold war and no one could have predicted that the superstorm's we've had would unearth them.

StonedNotStupid, Bottom Left Corner, United States, 1 hour ago

Those are blue, they're inert practice bombs. Didn't they just have this a few months ago?

Patrick, Belfast, 1 hour ago

This story is a repeat of a one printed about 6 months ago...............and they are NOT WWII bombs

ramsaysnow, dreadfort, United Kingdom, 2 hours ago

Keep an eye out for Taliban-looking dudes out with metal-detectors

Damiensholland.com, Amsterdam - The Netherlands, Netherlands, 1 hour ago

lol

PrivateSi, WORCS, 2 hours ago

The BLOODY ENGLISH, they're such a warring, littering lot, betweem 'em... Making a mess of the world near you - and far from you...

Roy IoW, Ryde, 2 hours ago

Being illiterate is nothing to be proud of either sonny.

Timeless Architect, London, UK, 2 hours ago

It is hard to believe that some people need bigger signs to tell them that bombs are dangerous.

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By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Mail
23/04
0 Points
1 2 3

Tech Feng shui master buried alive in landslide at Chinese cemetery seconds after showing a family the ‘perfect burial plot’ for their relative’s grave

ByTara Brady PUBLISHED: 10:19 GMT, 2 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:57 GMT, 2 April 2014 32View commentsA feng shui master was buried alive in a landslide at a Chinese cemetery seconds after showing a family a 'perfect burial plot' for their relative's grave. Ben Russell-Gough, London, United Kingdom, 59 minutes ago A tragedy for him and his family of course.

ByTara Brady

PUBLISHED: 10:19 GMT, 2 April 2014 | UPDATED: 13:57 GMT, 2 April 2014

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A feng shui master was buried alive in a landslide at a Chinese cemetery seconds after showing a family a 'perfect burial plot' for their relative's grave.

The family of recently deceased De Meng, 75, had invited the feng shui master Zheng Guoqiang, 55, to visit the cemetery in Zhaoqing, Guangdong to see which plot of land could be regarded as 'good land' for a family grave where De Meng could be buried.

After surveying the site he took the six members of the man's family to a place where he announced the vibrations and location was perfect for the grave.

Zheng Guoqiang was regarded as one of the most famous feng shui experts in Hong Kong but was buried alive

According to the one person who survived, seconds later there was a landslide which buried all seven people, leaving six of them dead.

Zheng Guoqiang was regarded as one of the most famous feng shui experts in Hong Kong and was frequently asked about his opinion.

Master: Zheng Guoqiang was invited to visit the cemetery to see if the plot of land could been regarded as 'good'

A medic treats victims after the landslide in Hong Kong where Zheng Guoqiang was killed

In a city where land is so scarce, many feel it is important to make the right choice when choosing an area for a project, whether that is building a property or finding a site for a grave.

Feng shui is widely used in China to orient buildings including tombs in an auspicious manner.

Depending on the particular style of feng shui being used, a favourable site could be determined by reference to local features such as water, stars, or via a compass.

Feng shui was suppressed in mainland China during the cultural revolution in the 1960s but since then has increased in popularity.

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theenglishpatient, london, United Kingdom, 13 minutes ago

Oh the irony..............

atko, Hong Kong, 19 minutes ago

Rubbish rubbish journalism. This guy died in Guandong (a province in mainland China)... So 'notoriously over crowded' Hong Kong' has absolutely no relevance. Stick to reporting about UK Middle aged suburbia... Useless reporting!

nonthaburial, Dongguan, 23 minutes ago

Am confused, did the Master did in HK or across the border in mainland China. Come on DM do you need an intelligent Chinese orientated proof reader ?

Cephas, Batanes, Philippines, 24 minutes ago

Just goes to show it's all a load of old cobblers

Wai Mond, Bristol, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

It the headline says the cemetery is in Hong Kong. It is incorrect! The fang shui master is from Hong Kong. The cemetery is in Guangdong!

Moi, HK, 52 minutes ago

1. We are not "notoriously" overcrowded here. 2. Feng Shui is alive and well in Hong Kong - nothing to do with The Mainland. 3. The slant of this article is ridiculous.

Resnam, Currently Instructing in Dubai, United Kingdom, 53 minutes ago

Humans think they are so clever but forget they are the products of this planet - not the other way round. Nature sometimes smacks us down as a reminder of that. No one is a master of anything compared to mother nature.

Ben Russell-Gough, London, United Kingdom, 59 minutes ago

A tragedy for him and his family of course. However, you'd have to be inhuman not to see the profound irony in his fate.

Dominic, Surrey, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

Life is often stranger than fiction.

CrustyAuldgit., London, United Kingdom, 25 minutes ago

Karma!

CinesMum, Coleraine, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

Awful..............life is so cruel

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Mail
02/04
6 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A community wiped out: New satellite image shows true scale of devastation caused by Washington landslide that killed at least 27

What are you supposed to do, you can't just stand there and watch,' Mr Wesson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Three men rescued from the landslide are still in hospital. Google Earth had been trying to get a clear view of the landslide since it first happened, but overcast skies prevented a clear view until March 31. They have also been working to clear mud and debris from the highway.Searchers have had to contend with treacherous conditions.

ByJessica Jerreat

PUBLISHED: 00:26 GMT, 2 April 2014 | UPDATED: 01:40 GMT, 2 April 2014

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A newly released satellite image shows the shocking scale of destruction caused by the Washington state landslide that struck the small town of Oso on March 22.

Google Earth had been trying to get a clear view of the landslide since it first happened, but overcast skies prevented a clear view until March 31.

The pool of sludge measuring about 300 acres, which wiped out the mountainside community when it struck on a Saturday morning, stands out against the greenery of the surviving trees.

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Widespread: The scale of the devastating Oso mudslide can be seen from this satellite image taken on Monday

Before: A satellite image shows the mountainside area of Oso before the deadly mudslide struck it on March 22

About 500 rescue workers are still sifting through the debris, in some places 75ft high, as they search for 22 people who are still listed as missing.

Snohomish County has put the current death toll at 27, and 19 of the victims have since been identified. All died from multiple blunt-force trauma, Live Science reported.

'This disaster is quickly becoming one of the worst in state history,' Washington Governor Jay Inslee said.

The landslide was triggered when the waterlogged hillside collapsed at the Stillaguamish river, which is about 50 miles from Seattle.

Among the devastation and huge loss of life, there have been a few remarkable stories of survival, like that of Duke Saddarth, a 22-week-old baby who was plucked from the sludge by a driver who was passing as the landslide hit.

Selfless act: Kody Wesson carries 22-month-old Duke Saddarth to safety moments after the landslide hit

Kody Wesson ignored state troopers' advice to stay away, and managed to pull the baby and his mother Amanda Skorjanc to safety.

'You gotta help 'em. How can you not? What are you supposed to do, you can't just stand there and watch,' Mr Wesson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

Three men rescued from the landslide are still in hospital. A 37-year-old is in serious condition in intensive care. An 81-year-old in serious condition in intensive care. And a 58-year-old is in satisfactory condition.

The family of the mother and baby released a statement through the hospital, saying: 'We are so grateful to all the responders who jeopardized their safety in order to pull Duke and Amanda out of the debris. 

'Words alone cannot tell you how thankful we are. Our hearts and support continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.'

The scale of the disaster is so huge that the sniffer dogs that have been essential to rescue efforts had to take a break after several long days of working through the cold mud in nearly nonstop rain.

Tribute: A flag flies at half-mast on the flattened landscape where the mudslide struck

Overwhelmed: The wall of mud and sludge carved out a wide path on this Washington hillside in Oso

'The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,' Kris Rietmann, lead spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern portion of the slide, said.

If the dogs become worn out they lose their ability to locate human scent among the mud. Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which only arrived recently, will continue to work at the scene while the others take a two-day break.

This weekend, crews completed a makeshift road that will link one side of the debris field to the other, significantly easing the recovery operation. They have also been working to clear mud and debris from the highway.

Searchers have had to contend with treacherous conditions. The search area has septic tanks, gasoline, propane tanks and other hazards. When rescuers and search dogs leave, they have to be hosed off by hazardous materials crews stationed at the edges of the debris field.

Tiring work: Search and rescue dogs have been given a break after days of sifting through debris in the rain

Huge task: Rescue workers search through the mud and debris caused by the March 22 disaster

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Poppy cake, Richmond, United States, 1 hour ago

You can see clear cutting, no wonder the hillside collapsed....

Petunia, Timbuktu, 1 hour ago

I've heard that some of the mud pits are eight feet deep. Imagine that, it would be an immediate death trap, sucking you right in and not letting go.

Julia H, Calgary, Canada, 2 hours ago

It amazes me anyone survived. God bless all survivors and all the workers trying to help them. They need our prayers.

Capt Dan, jupiter, 3 hours ago

Just when you thought you were home and safe .... Tragic.

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Mail
02/04
3 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Tech Moment good Samaritan who risked his life and IGNORED police orders to stay back plucked baby from Washington mudslide as mother lay helpless with two broken legs

Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 11 minutes ago Take it easy people - he's from Indianapolis. Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 16 minutes ago The death toll has risen to 24, with 30 missing. They are not a trained rescue unit with skilled, practiced personnel.

ByJames Nye

PUBLISHED: 22:00 GMT, 30 March 2014 | UPDATED: 03:01 GMT, 31 March 2014

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The youngest victim of the devastating Washington landslide was seconds away from a tragic death - but instead was plucked from the debris by one good Samaritan.

If Kody Wesson had been driving through Oso along Highway 530 seconds earlier, he would have been killed by the landslide that destroyed the home of Amanda Skorjanc and her 22-week-old son, Duke Saddarth.

As it happens, Wesson was able to race to the rescue and trudge straight into the monstrous mess and save Duke and alert emergency services to Amanda.

Hero and survivor: Kody Wesson pulls five-month-old baby Duke Saddarth from the debris left in the immediate aftermath of the Oso, Washington landslide which has claimed the lives of at least 18 people

Ignoring the commands of a state trooper not to enter the devastation, Wesson climed into the debris field to look for survivors.

'You gotta help 'em. How can you not? What are you supposed to do, you can't just stand there and watch,' said Wesson.

Spotting Duke on the floor, Wesson rushed to hep.

'I could see the baby's face. It was all bruised up,' said Wesson who also tended to Amanda, whose legs were broken.

Wesson wrapped the baby in his coat and carried Duke to safety past witness, Paulo Falcao.

'Something positive from the mudslide, a six-month-old baby. So precious,' said Falcao to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Good Samaritan: Kody Wesson explained how he pulled baby Duke from the rubble and tended to his mother Amanda when he rushed to the rescue eight days ago

Mom and baby: Amanda Skorjanc and her son Duke Saddarth both survived and the five-month-old is in a serious condition but improving at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle

Duke is listed in serious condition and improving at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

His mother, 25-year-old Amanda Skorjanc, is in satisfactory condition at the hospital.

Three men rescued from the March 22 slide also are at the hospital. A 37-year-old is in serious condition in intensive care. An 81-year-old in serious condition in intensive care. And a 58-year-old is in satisfactory condition.

The family of the mother and baby released a statement through the hospital, saying: 'We are so grateful to all the responders who jeopardized their safety in order to pull Duke and Amanda out of the debris.

'Words alone cannot tell you how thankful we are. Our hearts and support continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.'

Firefighters carefully cross a pool of water, using a fallen tree as a path, at the west side of the mudslide on Highway 530 near mile marker 37 on Sunday

Search workers ride on a tracked vehicle through the debris field of the massive mudslide that struck the community of Oso as the search for victims continued

An American flag pulled from the debris hangs in the staging area at the west side of the mudslide on Highway 530 near mile marker 37, in Arlington

Families coping with the loss of friends, neighbors and normalcy sought comfort in church services Sunday, as crews worked to recover more victims from the soggy pile of mud that buried the small mountainside community of Oso, Wash., more than a week ago.

Rescue crews said Sunday that many of the dogs that have been essential in the search for victims will take a two-day break. Days of sniffing through cold, soupy mud and nearly nonstop rain have taken their toll on the animals, and officials say dogs can lose their sensing ability if they work too long.

'The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,' said Kris Rietmann, lead spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern portion of the slide.

Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, more recent arrivals on the scene, will continue working, said Heidi Amrine, another spokeswoman for the operation.

Engineers were watching for any material sloughing off the landslide area, making sure that a weekend of torrential rainfall doesn't displace more land.

A weary searcher heads out of the west side of the mudslide site with a small saw

Rescue dog Nexus, muddy from working onsite, is decontaminated via hose after leaving the west side of the mudslide on Highway 530 near mile marker 37 on Sunday

A worker cuts a tree with a chainsaw next to a 'PV' marking, which stands for 'possible victim,' in the debris field of the massive landslide

Meanwhile, many residents attended church services for solace ahead of another week of recovery efforts.

'I can only compare it to a hot hearty meal after a very cold day,' Slava Botamanenko of Darrington said of the church services.

Botamanenko works at the hospital in Arlington and said he spent two nights there to be sure he was available for work after the slide shut the road.

Late Saturday, authorities said the number of people believed missing decreased substantially, from 90 to 30.

The official death toll of victims identified by the medical examiner increased to 21, said Jason Biermann, program manager at the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.

Authorities have said they have recovered more than two dozen bodies, but they won't be added to the official tally until a formal identification is made.

A small rubber duck sits on a pile of assorted debris. Periods of rain and wind have hampered efforts the past two days, with some rain showers continuing Sunday

A flag flies at half-staff on a log with the slope of the massive mudslide that struck Oso in the background near Darrington, Washington

Dwarfed: The size of the debris field is also smaller than initially thought, officials said Sunday. After further scientific review and analysis, geologists have determined that the size of the debris field is about 300 acres in size

And, underscoring the difficulty of identifying those killed in one of the deadliest landslides in U.S. history, Biermann said crews are not always discovering complete remains.

This weekend, crews completed a makeshift road that will link one side of the debris field to the other, significantly easing the recovery operation. They've also been working to clear mud and debris from the highway, leaving piles of gooey muck, splintered wood and housing insulation on the sides of the road.

Searchers have had to contend with treacherous conditions.

The search area has septic tanks, gasoline, propane tanks and other hazards. When rescuers and search dogs leave, they're hosed off by hazardous materials crews stationed at the edges of the debris field.

The slide dammed up the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, causing water to pool up on the east side. The river cut a new channel through the mud, but torrential weekend rainfall has raised the water level nearly a foot, Rietmann said Sunday.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee, right, is shown after taking an aerial tour of the Oso mudslide area at the Arlington Municipal Airport Sunday

AQquatic: Workers maneuver though flood waters on C Post Road as search work continues in the mud and debris from a massive landslide that struck Oso near Darrington, Washington March on 29, 2014

Lonely: A home located off Highway 530 is surrounded by mud and debris as search work continues from a massive landslide that struck Oso near Darrington, Washington on March 29, 2014

In at least one place, the water level has risen so high that it's covered areas that have already been searched by Snohomish County responders, said Tim Pierce, leader of Washington Task Force 1, a search and rescue team.

'At this point there's no point in searching (that area) again until the water drops back down,' Pierce said.

Rescuers should get some relief soon. Mainly dry weather is forecast Monday through Wednesday in Western Washington.

The size of the debris field is also smaller than initially thought, officials said Sunday. After further scientific review and analysis, geologists have determined that the size of the debris field is about 300 acres in size.

That's just under half the size of the earlier projected one square mile.

Away from the whirring chain saws and roaring bulldozers, many residents of the nearby community of Darrington sought quiet comfort in church services.

Helping: A dog is used as search work continues in the mud and debris from a massive landslide that struck Oso near Darrington, Washington on March 29, 2014

Relief: Rescuers should get some relief soon. Mainly dry weather is forecast Monday through Wednesday in Western Washington

All week, a steady stream of people has stopped in to pray at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God on the edge of town, Senior Pastor Les Hagen said.

'At a time like this, everybody knows they've got to have God's help,' Hagen said.

Steve Huot, lead chaplain for the Arlington Fire Department, is seeing people in varying emotional states related to the disaster. Some are in shock while others seem to have grasped the grim reality of the situation.

Many are exhausted. He said there's nothing 'key' to say to people.

'It's more about listening right now. You need to encourage them and maybe change their focus to staying busy for the group, for the team,' he said. 'You might need to drive them into something productive and make sure that they feel a sense of accomplishment and contribution.'

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Nessa90, Bridgeport, United States, 7 minutes ago

Thank god he was ok ..I hope he wasn't too hurtle bad I hope the article is just being dramatic :/ thank god he's alive tho

Jasper, Topeka, United States, 12 minutes ago

Prayers and sympathy to all the victims in Washington. To the rescuers, I pray for energy, courage and finally--serenity...God Bless you and of course, the dogs.

dugsub, Pattaya, Thailand, 12 minutes ago

Disgraceful behavior the correct form nowadays, would be to document the child's suffering, take a selfie and upload all to YouTube.

Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 16 minutes ago

The death toll has risen to 24, with 30 missing. Please DM readers, keep praying for us.

Tigerpaw16, Pembroke, 42 minutes ago

A very able body man tries to help anyway he can in this great disaster...and the cops tell him to "stand down". When, in fact, they needed all the help they could get! So glad Mr. Wesson ignored the cop and was able to save both the baby and her mother as he pointed her out to others on the site as he was rescuing the child. Mr. Wesson saved two lives. He is a hero. Well done, sir!

Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 13 minutes ago

I commend Mr Wesson for his bravery, however most people don't have the brains to act as he did. Most people would run into the mud and be drowned themselves. Thank you Mr Wesson.

rt11, Renton, 47 minutes ago

As I have seen this story unfold I have heard both sides. Truth is there is not an easy answer to the policy question and what constitutes the right decision in such circumstance, though people would like there to be one.

The_Mutts_Nuts, Dix Close, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

Well done Mr Wesson for ignoring commands of a state trooper to stay away and using common sense which has saved two lives. Hopefully, baby and mother will recover well, and fortunately the baby is too young to have any lasting memories of this tragedy.

J.W. Riley, Indianapolis, United States, 1 hour ago

So, a photo of a dog taking a poop is news worthy?

2 of 6 repliesSee all replies

GreenArrowMe, Woodridge, Australia, 15 minutes ago

Mr Riley, you seem to be the only one relieving himself, via comments you type.

Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 11 minutes ago

Take it easy people - he's from Indianapolis.

bugs, seattle, 1 hour ago

this isn't about willingness to help - but skills and equipment. those with heavy equipment and know how to use it have been allowed it - but first responders have had to *rescue* untrained volunteers who got stuck - taking away from being able to search for actual victims.

Samantha, Dorset, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

I get where you are coming from but I think that anyone who was willing to risk their own life to try to help has to be commended in this world where so many are happy to turn away from people in need of help.

havanaJoe, orlando, United States, 1 hour ago

As usual, the cops are good for nothing more than filling out reports and making sure that nobody tries to help the victims.

Lynzey, Toronto-Canada, 31 minutes ago

Yes, they are cops. They are not a trained rescue unit with skilled, practiced personnel.

Breezie Pond, Auburn WASH, United States, 10 minutes ago

Hahahaha! Coming from a Floridian, this comment is - shall we say - "hysterical"!

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Mail
31/03
3 Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Crews looking for dozens of missing victims in landslide debris use their hands and dogs to search as families begin to accept their loved ones might never be found

Sometimes large slides happen.'Devastated: Teresa Welter cries as she holds a candel at a candlelight vigil in Arlington, Washington on Tuesday night for the victims of Saturday's massive landslide. 'We'll probably just have a memorial, and if they find the bodies eventually, then we'll deal with that then,' she said.In previous mudslides, many victims were left where they perished. We think we control everything in our environment but nature can undo all of our best-laid plans in an instance.

ByAssociated Pressand Lydia Warren

PUBLISHED: 19:53 GMT, 26 March 2014 | UPDATED: 21:37 GMT, 26 March 2014

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Crews are continuing their frantic search for dozens of victims still missing after Saturday's landslide in Washington - but authorities say they may have to leave some bodies buried.

Search crews using dogs, bulldozers and their bare hands are slogging through the mess of broken wood and mud, looking for more bodies or anyone who might still be alive nearly five days after a wall of fast-moving earth destroyed a small rural community.

Authorities have said that recovering every corpse would be impractical and dangerous - and now families are being forced to accept that their loved ones might never be found.

The debris field is about a square mile and 30 to 40 feet deep in places, with a moon-like surface that includes quicksand-like muck, rain-slickened mud and ice. The terrain is difficult to navigate on foot and makes it treacherous or impossible to bring in heavy equipment.

Hunt: Searchers watch as a piece of heavy equipment moves debris at the scene of the deadly mudslide on Wednesday, as authorities warn that bodies of some victims may never be recovered

No giving up: Searchers work with a dog as they look through debris at the scene on Wednesday

Sadness: Snohomish County Fire Chief Steve Mason (left) talks with a chaplain near the mudslide near Oso, Washington as efforts continued to find victims. The death toll now stands at 24

To make matters worse, the pile is laced with other hazards that include fallen trees, propane and septic tanks, twisted vehicles and countless shards of shattered homes.

'We have to get on with our lives at some point,' said Becky Bach, who has spent the past several days in the area in hopes that searchers would find her brother, his wife, her 20-year-old great niece and the young girl's fiance.

Sixteen bodies have been recovered, but authorities believe at least 24 people were killed. Scores of others are still unaccounted for, although many of those names were believed to be duplicates.

Doug Massingale is among those waiting for word about his 4-month-old granddaughter. Searchers were able to identify carpet from the infant's bedroom, but a log jam stood in the way of a more thorough effort to find little Sanoah Huestis, known as 'Snowy'.

Helping hand: Derek Stephani, an electrician, drove up to volunteer to find slide victims in Oso

Team: Searchers prepare to begin looking through a debris field as a destroyed home stands behind

Holding out hope: Searcher Shayne Barco and his dog Stratus look through debris on Tuesday

Doing his duty: Search dog Stratus leaps through a debris field while working with a handler

'It just generates so many questions if they don't find them,' Bach said. 'I've never known anybody to die in a natural disaster. Do they issue death certificates?'

'Realistically...I honestly don't think they're going to find them alive. But as a family, we're trying to figure out what to do if they find no bodies.'

Bach spoke via phone about a wedding the family had planned for summer at the rural home that was destroyed. And how, she wondered, do you plan a funeral without a body?

'We'll probably just have a memorial, and if they find the bodies eventually, then we'll deal with that then,' she said.

In previous mudslides, many victims were left where they perished. Mudslides killed thousands in Venezuela in 1999, and about 1,500 bodies were found. But the death toll was estimated at 5,000 to 30,000, so the government declared entire neighborhoods 'memorial grounds'.

Devastation: An aerial photo taken on Monday shows the mountainside to days after the slide

Wreckage: The ruins of a house can be seen in front of the gaping hole where the homes once stood

Before and after: This combination of images provided by NASA shows the Oso area on Jan. 18 (top) and March 23 (bottom) following the landslide. An area north of the river can be seen entirely collapsed

As families grieved, officials were questioned again Wednesday about warnings from years ago that showed the potential for catastrophic landslides in the area.

A 1999 report by geomorphologist Daniel Miller raised questions about why residents were allowed to build homes in the area and whether officials had taken proper precautions.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said authorities took steps to mitigate risks after a 2006 landslide and told residents about potential hazards. But the sheer size of this disaster was overwhelming.

'It haunts me,' a sometimes-emotional Pennington told reporters. 'I think we did what we could do. Sometimes large slides happen.'

Devastated: Teresa Welter cries as she holds a candel at a candlelight vigil in Arlington, Washington on Tuesday night for the victims of Saturday's massive landslide. Scores of people are still missing

Together: People gather at a candlelight vigil in Arlington to pray for victims on Tuesday night

Remembering: Jammi Parris, a waitress at the Blue Bird Cafe in downtown Arlington, paints a yellow ribbon and the words 'Hold on to Hope' on the window of the cafe in tribute to the victims

He said the landslide risk has been high this winter, and the Department of Natural Resources put out warnings on a routine basis.

Officials will try to learn from this tragedy, he said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of rescuers kept slogging through the muck, following search dogs over the unstable surface of the immense pile.

For the last three days, 'the most effective tool has been dogs and just our bare hands and shovels uncovering people,' Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots said.

'But the dogs are the ones that are pinpointing a particular area to look, and we're looking and that's how we're finding people.'

Loss: Linda McPherson, 69, (left) and four-month-old Sanoah Huestis, right, are among the victims

Waiting: Jonielle Spillings, right, and her son Jacob, center, are safe, but his siblings (from left) Kaylee, baby Brooke and Jovon and father Billy (second right) were at home and have not been found

Massingale said he's grateful that his daughter, Natasha Huestis, survived the slide. She had gone to Arlington that morning and left her baby with her mother, Christina Jefferds. Her husband Seth, a volunteer firefighter, was also away at the time.

'She didn't suffer,' Massingale said after he was told about Christina's death.

Massingale said he would miss his first grandchild, a sweet, pretty and smiley child.

'It's stressful to think about,' he said. 'A little baby that hasn't gotten a start yet in life. It's too much.'

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Fenwoman, Wisbech, United Kingdom, 36 minutes ago

I am hoping more can be found alive.

Petunia, Timbuktu, 1 hour ago

It's painful to read about those who were killed or trapped by the mudslide. It's painful to read about the survivors. We think we control everything in our environment but nature can undo all of our best-laid plans in an instance. RIP to those lost in the mudslide and may the survivors heal and find peace.

Emma, Somerset, United States, 1 hour ago

i hope all who perished rest in peace, and may the survivors find some small measure of happiness in their lives after this ordeal passes. Human life is fleeting, and such natural catastrophes remind us not to squander our time here. Bless the rescuers.

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Tech Death toll in Washington mudslide 'rises to 24' with dozens still missing: Hope fades that any survivors will be found as rescuers recover two more bodies and believe they have located eight others 'underground'

That's a local responsibility.'No landslide warnings for the area were issued immediately before the disaster, which came after weeks of heavy rain. but I haven't been informed of anything yet,' he said to the Seattle Times.Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home when the landslide piled into his house and is missing according to his daughter Pam Keller.Caroline Neal hopes her missing father, Steven, 52, will still be rescued. They said it was unsafe yet they still allowed houses to be built.

ByJames Nye

PUBLISHED: 02:40 GMT, 26 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:23 GMT, 26 March 2014

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The death toll from Saturday's devastating landslide in Washington is expected to rise to 24 after increasingly desperate rescuers slogging through debris recovered two bodies and believed they had located eight more, the local fire chief said on Tuesday.

The official death toll rose to 16 with the discovery of the additional victims as crews searched under drizzly skies for survivors amid fading hopes that anyone could still be plucked alive from the massive pile of mud-soaked rumble.

'Unfortunately we did not find any signs of life today, we didn't locate anybody alive, so that's the disappointing part,' local fire chief Travis Hots told a media briefing.

'It’s unimaginable, the conditions out there they’re dealing with,' Hots said.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

The devastation: This aerial photograph taken in the aftermath of the huge landslide that struck Oso in Washington state on Saturday morning shows how the hillside collapsed - while the red-dots in the diagram (inset right) represent the 30 + homes that have been leveled by the disaster

Desperate search: A member of a rescue team looks underneath a destroyed home in the debris field after the mudslide near Oso, Washington on Tuesday as a dog roams and sniffs through the debris field

Painstaking: Searchers slowly move through a field of debris following Tuesday's deadly landslide that left more than 24 people dead with dozens still missing

Inch by inch: Searchers on water and land look through the debris left by the huge landslide that struck Oso, Washington on Saturday morning - decimating the sleepy forest community

Everyone lending a hand: Joanne Varney and her husband Greg search for victims with dog Maddee, 7, in the debris field after the Oso, Washington landslide

Quicksand: Rescuers user inflatable rafts to traverse the watery sludge and debris that has built up around the rubble caused by the huge landslide that hit Oso on Saturday

Every means: A canine search and rescue team looks for victims in the debris field after the mudslide near Oso, Washington, USA, 25 March 2014

Hit like a bulldozer: Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the massive mudslide that killed at least 24 people on Saturday and left dozens missing

The grim discoveries came three days after the collapse of a rain-soaked hillside about 55 miles north of Seattle.

Searchers had warned they were likely to find more bodies in the debris field, which covered a neighborhood of 49 structures. Authorities believe at least 25 were full-time residences.

Authorities believe that the mudslide destroyed 35 homes, as well as 13 manufactured homes, including RVs, and at least one cabin.

As many as 176 people remained listed as missing three days after the slide on Saturday, tumbling over a river, across a state road and into a rural residential area where it swallowed dozens of homes near the town of Oso.

Officials said they were hoping that number would decline as some of those listed as missing may have been double-counted or were slow to alert family and officials of their whereabouts. Eight people were injured.

But the disaster already ranks as one of the deadliest landslides in recent U.S. history. In 2005, 10 people died when a hillside gave way and engulfed homes in La Conchita, California.

'We're all still hoping for that miracle but we are preparing for the other possibility,' Washington State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said Tuesday afternoon.

And as the rain still fell on Tuesday night, about 200 people gathered in the cold at a park in Arlington to pray for the victims, friends and family of those lost.

'Hug each other. Wipe away each other's tears,' said Pastor Chad Blood with the Lifeway Foursquare Church in Arlington.

'People are just responding,' he said. 'When a need arises they just come and take care of it until we have to turn them away. I'm speechless at times, and so very proud of out community.'

Human cost: Valene Comenout (left) and Anna Schoneker (right) hold candles on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at a candlelight vigil in Arlington, Washington, for the victims of a massive mudslide that struck the nearby community of Oso on Saturday

Prayers: People gather Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at a candlelight vigil in Arlington, for the victims of a massive mudslide that struck the nearby community of Oso, Washington

Sadness: Teresa Welter cries as she holds a candle Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at a candlelight vigil for the victims of a massive mudslide that struck Oso on Saturday

The Community Connection board at the Darrington Community Center is lined with post it notes offering rooms, places to stay, and bags of those for those displaced by the massive mudslide that occured nearby on Washington Highway 530 on Saturday

Collapsed: The hillside that fell through the town of Oso, Washington is seen from the other side of the river in this picture which illustrates the devastating power of the landslide

Boat and a bible: Elaine Young holds a Bible that she pulled out of the debris field caused by a massive mudslide on Saturday

Hope: A flag, put up by volunteers helping search the area, stands in the ruins of a home left at the end of a deadly mudslide from the now-barren hillside seen about a mile behind, on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, in Oso, Washington

More than 100 homes were affected by the collapse of the hill and the overflowing river which now separates the town and covers one mile

Though authorities have said the chances were low of finding any more survivors in the cement-like mud blanketing the landscape, Hots said some 50 more searchers had been brought in to sift through the disaster zone in hopes of a miracle.

'This makes up over 200 responders that are here on site working very hard to locate victims and hopefully find somebody that is still alive. That is still our number-one priority out there,' he said.

Officials are compiling the list from calls from worried family members, friends and locals. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of potential missing likely includes duplicate names as people phone in reports about the same person. Authorities are working through the list, being extra cautious before they make conclusions.

'What we're finding is these vehicles are twisted and torn up in pieces.'

'It's amazing the force and magnitude what this slide has done.'

Another obstacle has been the chaotic nature of the debris field itself. In some places, the ground is covered by 15 feet of rubble.

'It's muddy in areas, it's like quicksand,' said Hots. 'One of the folks out there told me, 'Chief, sometimes it takes five minutes to walk 40 or 50 feet.'' Searchers are also running into gasoline and septic discharge and dealing with ground that geologists warn remains unstable.

At one site in a square-mile zone of devastation that once contained a meandering river surrounded by rural homes, the landslide pushed a house onto the highway, leaving nothing intact but its cedar shake roof.

Operators of excavators with clawed buckets dug through the debris, and chaplains stood by to comfort searchers and families of the missing. Hots said dogs also were being used to identify potential buried bodies, which were dug out in some cases with bulldozers or other heavy equipment.

President Barack Obama, who was in Europe for a meeting with world leaders, signed an emergency declaration ordering U.S. government assistance to supplement state and local relief efforts, the White House said.

Speaking at The Hague, where he was attending a summit, Obama began a news conference on Tuesday by addressing the disaster in Washington state and asking Americans to 'send their thoughts and prayers' to those affected by the disaster.

'We hope for the best, but we recognize this is a tough situation,' he said.

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Scarred: An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill facing Stillaguamish River

Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster

The river's banks have collapsed and water is flooding after mud piled in from a hillside on Saturday, and remains the same today

This aerial shot was taken by Governor Jay Inslee as he helicoptered around the site while rescue workers search for survivors

What was once a uniformed line of river and street along the hillside is now a mess of mud and water

The president also called Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday to discuss the mudslide, according to Inslee's office.

Compounding the sense of urgency was a fear of flooding as water levels rose behind a crude dam of mud and rubble that was dumped into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River by the slide.

The information-gathering process has been complicated by the nature of the rural area 55 miles north of Seattle where the slide hit Saturday morning. Pennington said officials have determined it included 49 parcels containing some kind of structure - including manufactured homes, a cabin and vacation properties. Not every structure was occupied full time. Some were only used sporadically. Complicating matters further is the fact that it's believed some nonresidents were working in the area and some victims may have been driving through the state highway that was also covered by mud.

The river was rising with rain on Tuesday, but had cut a channel through fresh mud and debris, lessening the chance of flooding, officials said.

A volunteer was injured Tuesday when he was struck by debris blown by a helicopter's rotor. The man was transported to a hospital for evaluation, but the injuries appear minor, Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman Shari Ireton said in a statement.

Near the southern perimeter of the slide, volunteers from a logging crew gathered to help move debris with chain saws, excavators and other heavy equipment.

Gene Karger said he could see six orange flags in the debris field, marking bodies they would be pulling out. Karger, a logger most of his life, said it was the first time he was involved in this kind of rescue work.

'You see parts of their bodies sticking out of the mud. It's real hard. It's that bad,' Karger said. 'There are people out there we know.'

Hots said about 200 responders using everything from heavy equipment and search dogs to their bare hands were working through the debris field Tuesday in rainy, wet conditions.

'We didn't locate anybody alive,' he said. 'We haven't lost hope that there's a possibility that we can find somebody alive in some pocket area.'

More than one mile of rain-soaked hillside collapsed onto the remote town, which is just five square miles in size, at 11am on Saturday.

Three days on, hundreds of rescue workers with dogs, aircraft and sonar equipment remain scouring the wreckage for survivors in the slide which has swamped a fifth of Oso's land.

But amidst the devastation, experts have revealed they predicted this would happen in 1999.

Set side by side, the two images show how the one-mile stretch of land looked before the disaster this weekend which saw more than 176 go missing and killed 14

In a report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, geologists warned of 'the potential for a large catastrophic failure' 15 years ago.

'We've known it would happen at some point, we just didn't know when,' co-author Daniel Miller told The Seattle Times.

Geological reports warning the hill is in imminent danger of collapse date back to the 1950s.

The debris field is a huge, dangerous mess - 15 feet thick in some places. 'It's muddy, in areas it's like quicksand,' said Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots. "One of the folks out there told me, 'Chief, sometimes it takes five minutes to walk 40 or 50 feet.' Searchers are also running into gasoline and septic discharge and dealing with ground that geologists warn remains unstable.

But the alerts, issued by experts every ten years, went unnoticed.

And in a press conference following Saturday's slide, the head of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, John Pennington, said 'it was considered very safe'.

Mr Miller said he was shocked to see houses being built around the danger zone weeks after a slide in 2006.

The slide, which was thought to be caused by heavy rain, formed a new channel along the cliff-side, but carpenters immediately set to work erecting homes along it.

'Frankly I was shocked that the county permitted any building from across the river,' Mr Miller told the paper.

In fact, the area has long been known as the 'Hazel Landslide' because of landslides over the past half-century. The last major one before Saturday's disaster was in 2006.

'We've done everything we could to protect them,' Pennington said.

Patricia Graesser, a spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle, said it appears the report was intended not as a risk assessment, but as a feasibility study for ecosystem restoration.

Asked whether the agency should have done anything with the information, she said, 'We don't have jurisdiction to do anything. We don't do zoning. That's a local responsibility.'

No landslide warnings for the area were issued immediately before the disaster, which came after weeks of heavy rain.

Search: From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Washington as the search for survivors grew on Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for

Devastation: Search and rescue personnel continue working the area of Saturday's mudslide, at Oso, Washington

Apocalyptic: Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso

This is one of the six bodies found after emergency services expressed doubt over their ability to find the missing people

Keenan Parks and his wife Chery, who live in Darrington, told MailOnline that they drive that road daily and had passed that way just the night before.

Their son darin and his wife Martha live on the edge of the devastating slide but survived.

The couple work as firefighters and the Park's said that tears poured down the couples faces as they described finding bodies in the rescue operation, some with clothes blown off from the force of the slide.

Their son described being up to his waist in mud during the recovery effort.

Still exhausted from their ordeal were on their way to check on an elderly man they are acquainted with but had not seen since Friday.

They said that they know the man, called Kurt, lived in the area of the slide but were not sure if he was home at the time.

Missing: 13-year-old Jovon Mangual,(holding his sister Brooke) stands alongside his sister Kaylee Spillers and brother Jacob (in blue t-shirt). Jacob managed to escape their Oso, Washington home on Saturday and was returned to his mother Jonielle Spillers (right). His brother and two sisters and father Billy Spillers are still missing.

Father and his children: Jovon Mangual (left in blue and right in football gear), Kaylee (as a tiger and right in pink) Brooke (pumpkin) and Jacob as a bumblebee pose for a picture on Halloween - and right with Billy Spillers - who is also missing

Mr Park said that he believes the man has sons but that they don't live in the area. They also were concerned for the cattle that he raised on his land.

Cory Kuntz and several volunteers worked Monday with chain saws to cut through the roof of his uncle's house, which was swept about 150 yards from its previous location. Kuntz said his aunt, Linda McPherson, was killed. He and the others pulled out files, his aunt's wallet and a box filled with pictures and slides.

McPherson was branch manager of the Darrington library and served for about 15 years on the local school board.

Indeed, Linda McPherson and her husband, Gary 'Mac' McPherson were sitting down to read the newspaper on Saturday morning at home when the landslide hit.

They were separated only by a living room table when trees tore through their house and simply ripped Linda and the side of the house she was sitting in 150 feet southwards away from Gary.

Gary, 81, awoke covered in mud and began to dig himself out until he was rescued by passers-by.

It was then that they discovered the body of his wife just nearby.

'When you look at it, you just kind of go in shock, and you kind of go numb,' he said, adding that there were more people out helping Sunday. On Monday, they couldn't get through roadblocks.

'They are all eager to get down here, but unfortunately they can't. It just shows how tight this community is,' he said.

Tragic: Linda McPherson was swept away by the mudslide right in front of her husband on Saturday morning

Jonielle Spillers, a nursing assistant fears that she may have lost three of her four children and her husband - while her youngest boy managed to barely escape the slide.

Her son Jovon Mangual, his half-sisters Kaylee Spillers, 5, Brooke Spillers, 2 and Jonielle's husband Billy Spillers are all missing.

According to Jovon's father, Jose Mangual, a staff sergeant in the US Army, the Spillers moved from Seattle to Oso two years ago.

He said that he had spoken to Jovon's 4-year-old half-brother Jacob Spillers who described the terrifying scene when the landslide struck.

According to Jacob, Billy Spillers - a chief petty officer in the Navy - was watching television with the three missing children when the land gave way.

Jacob said that he was on the second floor of the house and manged somehow to get away.

On her Facebook profile, Jonielle thanked everyone for their support and said she was 'not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband....please pray for us.'

Unrecognizable: Mudflows forver changed the landscape of this area one hour north of Seattle

Other family members of the missing such as Pete Bellomo, of Bellevue spent the day trying to find out any information on his daughter Shelley and her partner Jerry Logan.

He did not hold out hope they would be found alive.

The names below are of those whose families have reported them unaccounted for to the media - The official list has still to be released:

'No, no, I don’t think there’s any chance of that ... but I haven’t been informed of anything yet,' he said to the Seattle Times.

Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home when the landslide piled into his house and is missing according to his daughter Pam Keller.

Caroline Neal hopes her missing father, Steven, 52, will still be rescued. He's a plumber who was on a service call when the land gave way.

'My dad is a quick thinker, and he is someone who takes action in an emergency,' Neal told CNN affiliate KING. 'If he had any warning at all, we just have to think he is somewhere and he's safe and they just can't reach him right now.

'None of us feel like he's gone,' his wife Brenda Neal said.

Her daughter, Sara, agreed: 'I think if anyone had a chance to getting through, it would be him.'

The waiting also came to end on Tuesday for the family of U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, 49, whose body and that of his beloved dog were found by his brothers, his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton, told CNN.

Still missing is Regelbrugge's wife, she added.

One retired lumber mill worker, Reed Miller, told Seattle television station KOMO-TV that his riverfront house was demolished by the slide, and that his 47-year-old son, Joseph. with whom he shared the home, was probably swept away with it.

The younger Miller, an avid fisherman and photographer, was alone in the Oso mobile home he shared with his father Saturday morning when the mudslide ran through it.

'Well, he was at home. As far as I know he's gone,' said Miller, who was at a grocery store in town at the time. 'There's no official (word) that he's been found yet, but he could be buried. I just don't know.'

Doug Reuwsaat, who grew up in the area and was also helping in the search, said authorities had told people to stay away.

'We're related to a lot of these people from around here. So that's why we're here,' he said.

Among those who are missing are the wife and granddaughter of Oso firefighter Seth Jeffereds.

He and his stepdaughter were out collecting errands when the landslide began according to him.

Christina Jeffereds, 45, was at home babysitting 4-month old Sanoah Huestis when the earth began to move.

They were joined by Doug Massingale, Christina's ex-husband.

He said he had dashed down from Sedro-Woolley, Washington, to help his 26-year-old daughter search for Sanoah and his ex-wife, who was with their granddaughter when the slide hit.

'They're still looking for her. 'I think it's going to be a long search. Big area and a little body.'

Also, Barbara Welsh, who spoke to reporters at a news briefing on Monday said that she hadn't seen her husband, William Welsh since Saturday.

Frustrations were growing as family members and neighbors waited for official word on the missing and the dead. Elaine Young and her neighbors uncovered several bodies Sunday and had to contact authorities to get them removed.

They also found a chocolate Labrador named Buddy alive, and helped pull the dog from the rubble, leading her to wonder if other survivors could be out there, desperate for help.

'If we found a dog alive yesterday afternoon that we cut out of a part of a house, doesn't that seem that maybe somebody could be stuck up under part of a house and be alive too?' asked Young, whose home survived the slide but was on the edge of the devastation.

Nichole Webb Rivera told the Seattle Times she frantically called and texted her parents, her daughter and her daughter’s fiance when the massive hillside collapsed.

Gone: The entire side of this small mountain was washed away

Rivera said her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, lived near the center of the slide, and she doesn’t believe they made it out.

She said her 20-year-old daughter, Delaney Webb, and Webb’s fiance were visiting the older couple at the time.

Rivera lives in Houston but has traveled to Washington following the slide. She said Monday after visiting the area: 'We’ve lost four.'

Ronald DeQuilettes is an electrician who was working at Larry and Sandy Miller's house when the wall of mud came crashing down on them - they are all missing.

Also missing is 14-year-old Denver Harris, who may have been hiking when the mudslide came crashing down.

Also among the missing are Steve and Theresa Harris.

Their niece, Emily Christoph, one of many worried family members, holding on to the hope they will be found alive.

Missing: In this undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera, her daughter, Delaney Webb, (left), and her fiance, Alan Bejvl, (left), who are missing as a result of the huge landslide are shown while (right) Thom and Marcy Satterlee who are also missing are shown 

Searching: Married grandfather Steve Neal, 52, is also reportedly among the missing

Family members say Christina Jefferds and granddaughter Sanoah Huestis have both been missing since the devastating mudslide

Among the missing: Summer Raffo's family says she is still unaccounted for and may have been trapped in her vehicle

'I didn't know what to do. I was numb. I couldn't believe it. It's like you don't ever think your family would be involved in something like this,' said their niece Emily Christoph.

Also reported missing were former Alaska residents Julie Farnes and her son Adam, who were believed to be home on Saturday morning.

Her youngest brother, Richard Urton said he was losing hope. 'She was just the best sister a guy could ask for,' he said to the Anchorage Daily News.

Another sad addition to the list of people missing is Brandy Ward who was home with her husband, Tim at the time of the landslide.

Tim Ward was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with a fractured pelvis, and Brandy Ward is still missing.

Ron Thompson, whose home was destroyed, stopped by the evacuation shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington to find out if his friends turned up alive. 'We lost a lot of good kids. I don’t know what else to tell you. It hurts,’ he said before driving away.

Also among the missing was a group of girls who had been having a slumber party, according to a resident interviewed by The Seattle Times.

Retired firefighter Gail Moffett, who lives in Oso, said she knows about 25 people who are missing, including entire families with young children.

'It's safe to say I'll know everyone affected or who they are,' Moffett said. 'There's so much pain going on in the community right now.'

Among the injured were a mother and her baby. Amanda Skorjanc, 25, was in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Her son, 22-week-old Duke Suddarth, remained in critical condition and was improving, Gregg said. Three other men were in serious condition.

The search for victims resumed under partly cloudy skies on Monday after treacherous quicksand-like conditions forced rescue workers to suspend their efforts at dusk on Sunday. Some workers, mired in mud up to their armpits, had to be dragged to safety.

Staggering loss: A flag sits on top of what was Cory Kuntz and his family's home. The family was at a baseball game when the river of mud swept through the area and leveled their home

Its so sad when county officials dont listen to har...

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.

Tim, Port Townsend-Washington State, United States, 31 minutes ago

There's a lot of homes built on or near slide zones in both Cascade and Olympic ranges.. I really hope more survivors are found but it's not looking good at the moment. Fingers crossed.

Allan, English love it, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

Such a shocking situation just thinking of all those poor people buried under all that mud my thoughts go out the families and as for the county officials responsible for allowing this to happen I hope that the legal system takes them to court.

Domingo Lindo, Madrid, Spain, 2 hours ago

Such a terrible tragedy, it reminds me so much of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Horseman4, Hell, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

In what way? This is a natural disaster. The other two you mention are war zones........

lazer, London, United Kingdom, 1 hour ago

Sorry no, it reminds me of Aberfan, something I don't want to remember, as it makes me want to cry at the loss of so many children.

emilypam3la, SW. UK, 2 hours ago

Obama needs to stop the rubbish about praying and swear he will start listening to geologists warnings about future catastrophes like this! This could have been avoided!

sas09, Seattle,wa, 2 hours ago

Horrible story to read especially since I'm a Washingtonian. Hoping for the best

Hooter, Atlanta, 5 hours ago

I don't get it.... Normally existing homes are bought out by the county or state and no further building is allow. they then turn it into closed area or flood plain thing...

Dave Ninetynine, Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 5 hours ago

One can clearly see from the before photos, that landslides have occurred at that spot in the past, so why build a community directly below it!

Mmicky5050, baltimore, United States, 5 hours ago

May they rest in peace. Heart breaking.

Caligirl1968, Harrisburg pa, United States, 5 hours ago

Its so sad when county officials dont listen to hard facts. They said it was unsafe yet they still allowed houses to be built. In a zone prone to slides. Shameful and just wrong.

Lucy3350, NYC, 3 hours ago

This is what happens when politicians think they know more than the experts. Who needs the EPA or geologists when you have a bunch of dopey politicians who are willing to do anything in order to get favors and/or campaign contributions?

James0489, wales, United Kingdom, 5 hours ago

Tragic i bet it happened so fast , Sorry for your loss

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Tech Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 24 with dozens still missing: Hope fades that any survivors of devastating disaster will be found as rescuers warn they will find more bodies

Some who went in got caught up to their armpits in the thick, sticky sludge.From another angle: An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and DarringtonThe threat of potential flash floods or another landslide also loomed over rescuers. But no one else has been found alive.The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which is continuing to back up, officials said.

ByRyan Gormanand James Nye

PUBLISHED: 15:36 GMT, 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 02:15 GMT, 26 March 2014

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The death toll in the massive landslide that hit in Washington state on Saturday has risen to 24 - with dozens more still missing.

Washington state officials say searchers found 10 more bodies in the debris of a massive landslide, raising the number of people who died in the disaster to 24.

Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief Travis Hots announced the fatalities Tuesday evening after residents from the nearby logging town of Darrington spent the day helping rescue crews scour the muck for any sign of survivors.

The grim discoveries came three days after the collapse of a rain-soaked hillside about 55 miles north of Seattle.

Searchers had warned they were likely to find more bodies in the debris field, which covered a neighborhood of 49 structures. Authorities believe at least 25 were full-time residences.

This news comes as before and after images of the colossal landslide in Oso, Washington, reveal the shocking scale of devastation which wiped out 100 homes, killing 14 and leaving 176 people unaccounted for.

More than one mile of rain-soaked hillside collapsed onto the remote town, which is just five square miles in size, at 11am on Saturday.

Three days on, hundreds of rescue workers with dogs, aircraft and sonar equipment remain scouring the wreckage for survivors in the slide which has swamped a fifth of Oso's land.

But amidst the devastation, experts have revealed they predicted this would happen in 1999.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Set side by side, the two images show how the one-mile stretch of land looked before the disaster this weekend which saw more than 176 go missing and killed 14

Sheer scale: The shocking difference caused by the massive mudslide is shown in these before and after aerial photos

The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning

Hit like a bulldozer: Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the massive mudslide that killed at least eight people on Saturday and left dozens missing

The main road, State Route 530, is now completely cut off as it is submerged in water. Rescue teams have parked as close to the edge as possible to look for survivors

The collapse swamped a fifth of the town, crushing more than 100 homes and leaving dozens of school pupils unaccounted for

In a report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, geologists warned of 'the potential for a large catastrophic failure' 15 years ago.

'We've known it would happen at some point, we just didn't know when,' co-author Daniel Miller told The Seattle Times.

Geological reports warning the hill is in imminent danger of collapse date back to the 1950s.

But the alerts, issued by experts every ten years, went unnoticed.

And in a press conference following Saturday's slide, the head of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, John Pennington, said 'it was considered very safe'.

Mr Miller said he was shocked to see houses being built around the danger zone weeks after a slide in 2006.

The slide, which was thought to be caused by heavy rain, formed a new channel along the cliff-side, but carpenters immediately set to work erecting homes along it.

'Frankly I was shocked that the county permitted any building from across the river,' Mr Miller told the paper.

Today, half a week after the latest slide, rescue workers are using chain saws and their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage, as an increasing number of residents report missing loved-ones.

And further rain over the next few days is expected to hamper recovery efforts.

On Monday morning the death toll stood at eight, but last night a further six bodies were found.

The tragic discovery was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive from the muck that engulfed dozens of homes.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of people unaccounted for had ballooned from 18 to 176 - and The County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters that 'the situation is very grim' - but emphasized that many of those names could be duplicates.

Scarred: An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill facing Stillaguamish River

Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster

The river's banks have collapsed and water is flooding after mud piled in from a hillside on Saturday, and remains the same today

This aerial shot was taken by Governor Jay Inslee as he helicoptered around the site while rescue workers search for survivors

What was once a uniformed line of river and street along the hillside is now a mess of mud and water

More than 100 homes were affected by the collapse of the hill and the overflowing river which now separates the town and covers one mile

'We're holding out hope, but keep in mind we've not found anybody alive on this pile since Saturday,' he said.

'The 176, I believe very strongly is not a number we're going to see in fatalities. I believe it's going to drop dramatically,' he said.

The list of the 176 missing is in some instances is very vague, said Pennington.

'In some cases, that list is very detailed. It's 'John, who has brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood.' Pennington said.

'In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, 'I met him once. I think he lived over there.'

However, while they do not expect the death toll to match the number of missing, they are concerned that many people were home when the slide struck at 11am on Saturday with such power it was described as being like a 'bulldozer'.

Several dozen homes were believed to have sustained some damage from the slide, Pennington told reporters at a command post in the nearby town of Arlington.

Search: From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Washington as the search for survivors grew on Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for

Grim: The death toll so far stood at eight on Monday morning, but the tragic discovery of six bodies on Monday evening was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive

Devastation: Search and rescue personnel continue working the area of Saturday's mudslide, at Oso, Washington

Apocalyptic: Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide

Tribute: A bouquet of flowers left for victims sits perched on the seat of an abandoned vehicle in the wreckage of homes destroyed by Saturday's mudslide, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Oso, Washington

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso

This is one of the six bodies found after emergency services expressed doubt over their ability to find the missing people

The National Guard is expected to arrive on Tuesday morning to aid the search of the leveled homes and cars across the 1-mile square area hit.

Tragic stories from relatives of those missing are already emerging.

Jonielle Spillers, a nursing assistant fears that she may have lost three of her four children and her husband - while her youngest boy managed to barely escape the slide.

Her son Jovon Mangual, his half-sisters Kaylee Spillers, 5, Brooke Spillers, 2 and Jonielle's husband Billy Spillers are all missing.

According to Jovon's father, Jose Mangual, a staff sergeant in the US Army, the Spillers moved from Seattle to Oso two years ago.

He said that he had spoken to Jovon's 4-year-old half-brother Jacob Spillers who described the terrifying scene when the landslide struck.

According to Jacob, Billy Spillers - a chief petty officer in the Navy - was watching television with the three missing children when the land gave way.

Jacob said that he was on the second floor of the house and manged somehow to get away.

On her Facebook profile, Jonielle thanked everyone for their support and said she was 'not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband....please pray for us.'

Huge numbers: Authorities say they still don't know how many people remain missing from a deadly Washington state mudslide. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said late Monday that officials were working off a potential list of 176 people, but he stressed that authorities believed that included many duplicate names

Unrecognizable: Mudflows forver changed the landscape of this area one hour north of Seattle

Staggering: At least 14 people have died. Officials say they are still culling through multiple reports of people who may have lived or worked in the area. The slide smashed through a small community about 55 miles north of Seattle on Saturday morning

Other family members of the missing such as Pete Bellomo, of Bellevue spent the day trying to find out any information on his daughter Shelley and her partner Jerry Logan.

He did not hold out hope they would be found alive.

'No, no, I don’t think there’s any chance of that ... but I haven’t been informed of anything yet,' he said to the Seattle Times.

Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home when the landslide piled into his house and is missing according to his daughter Pam Keller.

Caroline Neal hopes her missing father, Steven, 52, will still be rescued. He's a plumber who was on a service call when the land gave way.

Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management officials say the area has a history of unstable land. A slide also happened there in 2006. Authorities believe the latest slide was caused by recent heavy rainfall that saturated and destabilized the ground. David Montgomery, an earth and space sciences professor at the University of Washington, said these deep-seated slides tend to occur from rainfall over months or seasons. 'This was a big deep one, a giant slump,' he said.

'My dad is a quick thinker, and he is someone who takes action in an emergency,' Neal told CNN affiliate KING. 'If he had any warning at all, we just have to think he is somewhere and he's safe and they just can't reach him right now.

One retired lumber mill worker, Reed Miller, told Seattle television station KOMO-TV that his riverfront house was demolished by the slide, and that his 47-year-old son, Joseph. with whom he shared the home, was probably swept away with it.

'Well, he was at home. As far as I know he's gone,' said Miller, who was at a grocery store in town at the time. 'There's no official (word) that he's been found yet, but he could be buried. I just don't know.'

Cory Kuntz and several volunteers worked Monday with chain saws to cut through the roof of his uncle's house, which was swept about 150 yards from its previous location. Kuntz said his aunt, Linda McPherson, was killed. He and the others pulled out files, his aunt's wallet and a box filled with pictures and slides.

McPherson was branch manager of the Darrington library and served for about 15 years on the local school board.

Her husband Gary McPherson was injured in the landslide too but survived.

'When you look at it, you just kind of go in shock, and you kind of go numb,' he said, adding that there were more people out helping Sunday. On Monday, they couldn't get through roadblocks.

'They are all eager to get down here, but unfortunately they can't. It just shows how tight this community is,' he said.

Doug Reuwsaat, who grew up in the area and was also helping in the search, said authorities had told people to stay away.

'We're related to a lot of these people from around here. So that's why we're here,' he said.

Among those who are missing are the wife and granddaughter of Oso firefighter Seth Jeffereds.

He and his stepdaughter were out collecting errands when the landslide began according to him.

Christina Jeffereds, 45, was at home babysitting 4-month old Sanoah Huestis when the earth began to move.

Also, Barbara Welsh, who spoke to reporters at a news briefing on Monday said that she hadn't seen her husband, William Welsh since Saturday.

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Frustrations were growing as family members and neighbors waited for official word on the missing and the dead. Elaine Young and her neighbors uncovered several bodies Sunday and had to contact authorities to get them removed.

Late on Saturday, rescuers heard people yelling for help but were unable to reach anyone. The soupy, quicksand-like mud was so thick and deep that searchers had to turn back. When crews were able to get back onto the debris field Sunday, they found only more bodies. 'We didn't see or hear any signs of life,' Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Sunday evening.

They also found a chocolate Labrador named Buddy alive, and helped pull the dog from the rubble, leading her to wonder if other survivors could be out there, desperate for help.

'If we found a dog alive yesterday afternoon that we cut out of a part of a house, doesn't that seem that maybe somebody could be stuck up under part of a house and be alive too?' asked Young, whose home survived the slide but was on the edge of the devastation.

Nichole Webb Rivera told the Seattle Times she frantically called and texted her parents, her daughter and her daughter’s fiance when the massive hillside collapsed.

Rivera said her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, lived near the center of the slide, and she doesn’t believe they made it out.

She said her 20-year-old daughter, Delaney Webb, and Webb’s fiance were visiting the older couple at the time.

Rivera lives in Houston but has traveled to Washington following the slide. She said Monday after visiting the area: 'We’ve lost four.'

Ron Thompson, whose home was destroyed, stopped by the evacuation shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington to find out if his friends turned up alive. 'We lost a lot of good kids. I don’t know what else to tell you. It hurts,’ he said before driving away.

Also among the missing was a group of girls who had been having a slumber party, according to a resident interviewed by The Seattle Times.

Retired firefighter Gail Moffett, who lives in Oso, said she knows about 25 people who are missing, including entire families with young children.

'It's safe to say I'll know everyone affected or who they are,' Moffett said. 'There's so much pain going on in the community right now.'

Among the injured were a mother and her baby. Amanda Skorjanc, 25, was in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Her son, 22-week-old Duke Suddarth, remained in critical condition and was improving, Gregg said. Three other men were in serious condition.

The search for victims resumed under partly cloudy skies on Monday after treacherous quicksand-like conditions forced rescue workers to suspend their efforts at dusk on Sunday. Some workers, mired in mud up to their armpits, had to be dragged to safety.

Members of a search team were forced to retreat again from the western edge of the slide area after movement was detected along a 1,500-foot (460-meter) stretch of earth, said Rebecca Hover, a spokeswoman for the county executive's office.

The first eight bodies were found by Sunday evening in the square-mile (2.6 square km) disaster zone of tangled debris, rocks, trees and mud, a sheriff's spokesman said. The late afternoon Twitter bulletin on Monday said the remains of six more victims had also been found.

Staggering loss: A flag sits on top of what was Cory Kuntz and his family's home. The family was at a baseball game when the river of mud swept through the area and leveled their home

Debris: Water and mud back up on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide near Oso, in Washington

Search operation: A rescue helicopter flies above the area on Sunday surveying the damage and looking for survivors or bodies

Here to help: This search helicopter looks for bodies - alive or dead - among the ruins of the catastrophic mudflow

All that's left: A Little League picture frame caked with mud sits outside after flooding caused the mudslides

Officer Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the police department in nearby Everett, said all 14 bodies had been recovered. Another eight people were injured in the landslide.

Authorities on Monday also reported a sharp jump in the number of people listed as unaccounted for in the chaos after the disaster, heightening fears the casualty toll could climb even higher.

'The number is, I think no question, going to decline dramatically. But it is a number that we want to just go ahead and disclose and say, 'That's what we're working with,'' Pennington said.

The potential number of victims in harm's way was higher on a Saturday, with many people at home, than on a weekday when more residents would have been at work or school, Pennington said. He said search teams were also trying to account for an unspecified number of construction workers who were in the area and motorists who were driving by at the time.

But authorities were hoping many of those reported as missing would turn out to be survivors who were either double-counted or slow in alerting loved ones and local officials as to their whereabouts.

The slide in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains along the Stillaguamish River piled mud, boulders and rubble up to 15 feet deep in some places.

It blocked the flow of the river, backing up water behind a natural dam left in the stream's channel that caused flooding of seven homes upstream of the slide, Pennington said.

'The bad news is that the water continues to rise and homes are inundated up to the eaves in many cases,' he said. 'If there is a silver lining in that event ... it is that it is a slow, methodical rise. You can see the danger.'

Destruction: A demolished house sits in the mud on Highway 530 on Sunday, a day after a giant landslide occurred near Oso, in Washington

Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family - who escaped certain doom while attending a Saturday morning baseball game

Authorities said as the volume and pressure of water behind the dam continued to build, there was a chance that additional downstream flooding and mud flows could be unleashed.

Water from the river was trickling through the side of the debris plug and creating a new stream channel, prompting authorities to post observation teams downstream to watch for signs of danger, state emergency management officials said.

Hots said Monday's search for victims would incorporate the use of aircraft, teams with search dogs and special electronic equipment.

'Also, the Washington State Department of Transportation is going to have heavy equipment out there to clear mud out of the way so that we can continue to search those areas,' he said.

Authorities believe Saturday's slide was caused by recent heavy rains that made the terrain unstable.

From the beginning, rescue crews on the ground have faced dangerous and unpredictable conditions as they navigated quicksand-like mud that was 15 feet deep in some places. Some who went in got caught up to their armpits in the thick, sticky sludge.

From another angle: An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington

The threat of potential flash floods or another landslide also loomed over rescuers. On Monday, some crews had to pull back because of concern that a hillside could shift.

The spirits of search-and-rescue teams were raised late Saturday when they heard cries for help from the flotsam of trees, dirt and shattered wood. But no one else has been found alive.

The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which is continuing to back up, officials said. Authorities said Monday at least seven homes are now flooded, and more flooding is expected.

Frequent, heavy rain and steep geography make the area prone to landslides. Less than a decade ago, another slide hit in the same general area.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene as 'a square mile of total devastation' after flyingover the disaster area Sunday. He assured families that everything was being done to find their missing loved ones.

Update: Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots speaks to the media in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, following the massive mudslide which wiped out homes and killed at least eight

On Monday, President Barack Obama declared an emergency, ordering federal aid for the struggling community and federal agencies to coordinate relief efforts.

Barbara Welsh went to Monday's news briefing in Arlington to get more information. She said she has not seen her husband, William Welsh, since Saturday, when he went to help someone in Oso with a water tank.

Bruce Blacker, who lives just west of the slide, doesn't know the whereabouts of six neighbors.

'It's a very close-knit community,' Blacker said as he waited at an Arlington roadblock before troopers let him through.

Smashed: A mudslide carried a house with people inside across a road in rural Snohomish County on Saturday

Splintered: One of the homes brought down by the fatal mudslide

This is just horrific!! The news coverage here in t...

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StopPlayingVictim, Siberia, Antarctica, 19 minutes ago

"Scientists" are exactly who ignored warnings both here and in the building explosion in NYC. Both Pre-Warned. Both resulting in Deaths. Ya Know. Kind Of Like Terrorism.

bugs, seattle, 37 minutes ago

you know, all of the ignorant comments claiming the slide was caused by logging/clear cutting know not whereoff they speak. it's the soils geology. this specific area has a long history of mudslides, the last one being in 2006. conifer trees have very shallow root systems, and would have done NOTHING to prevent this slide. go look up the box canyon mudslide on mt rainier a few years back when old growth forest came down and in similar mass after heavy rains.

bugs, seattle, 40 minutes ago

the last slide was january 2006 - same spot. . . . . . . . John, Hong Kong, 1 hour ago Looking at the photo it appears quite clear that a very similar land-slip occurred just to the right of the current one some time in the fairly recent past (last 100 years or so). Terrible tragedy and my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

Tuppence, Saint Petersburg Florida, United States, 49 minutes ago

New death toll....24. 9:55 EST 3/25/2014

Brooke, EastCoast US, United States, 51 minutes ago

I am just surprised that houses were built in that area. Such a sad situation and still so many missing. The family members of the missing are going through the same torment as those family members regarding the missing airplane. Tragic.

Winston, Goderich, Canada, 54 minutes ago

Very sad for the victims and their friends and families. Condolences.

dogant, Seattle, United States, 1 hour ago

.....pounding rain here in Seattle, just a few miles South of the mudslide; therefore, further mountain instability, and massively swollen nearby rivers.

Kris, USA, United States, 15 minutes ago

That is no good.. Be safe!

MetaVoid, Utopia, United States, 1 hour ago

This is why non-scientists need to pay VERY close attention to what scientists have to say. They don't typically fabricate the truth. They don't use anecdotal evidence such as "my Dad built this house with his bare hands for $5,000, lived here for 60 years and nothing bad ever happened, so this is a safe place to live". Scientists quantify things without emotion. They analyze the minutia which is oblivious to so many. They are unbelievably methodical. They question themselves relentlessly in search of the truth. They never accept the unknown. They hate to be wrong more than anything. They don't believe something until they can prove it with all the verified knowledge available and confirm it with other humans who understand the same deep things based on a code of known truths. Trust the Scientists. Ignore this advice only IF you are willing to suffer the consequences of being wrong. RIP fellow humans. I pray that our unverified God has mercy on your unverified souls. <3

maggie250, Seattle, 1 hour ago

The latest news is that on March 10th, there was a 1.1 earthquake about 100 yards from the site. That might have been one cause of the landslide. But week-end before last we had about two straight days of rain. There is a slight hill behind my house and I keep looking at it a bit nervously.

SpaceSeattle, Seattle, 1 hour ago

L Wren carries more weight than this death toll. Check headlines.

Brooke, EastCoast US, United States, 54 minutes ago

I thought the same thing!

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Tech 'I can hear people yelling for help!' Emotional 911 calls released as frantic search continues for 176 people missing after Washington landslide

Relatives called around, but the somber reality soon set in.'We've lost four,' said Rivera, who grew up in Darrington, a logging town of about 1,400 people just to the east of the landslide.Rivera has had no official confirmation from authorities. At least 14 people are confirmed dead, as many as 176 people are missing, and about 30 homes are destroyed.On Tuesday, the search continued for the missing as rain started to fall. ' one woman can be heard crying at the dispatcher, ABC7 reported.

ByLydia Warrenand Associated Press

PUBLISHED: 08:22 GMT, 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:52 GMT, 25 March 2014

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Chilling 911 recordings have revealed witnesses' terror as a mile-long landslide heaved houses from their foundations, toppled trees and left dozens of people unaccounted for in Oso, Washington on Saturday.

'There's like a mudslide and everything's gone!' one woman can be heard crying at the dispatcher, ABC7 reported. 'The houses are gone! There are people yelling for help!'

Another woman adds: 'I got a big emergency! There is a house - there was a big slide on the hill - and it is covering the road.'

One man calls in after being contacted by his wife and tells the dispatcher: 'Hundreds of trees have fallen outside of my house, there's a car buried. She said she stepped out of our house because it sounded like an earthquake was happening.'

One witness, Elaine Young, said she heard a rush of air for about 45 seconds and stepped outside to find an ominous silence - and a wall of heavy mud that had crashed through the neighborhood. The massive landslide had left a gaping cavity on what had been a tree-covered hillside and in the frantic rescue, searchers spotted mud-covered survivors by the whites of their waving palms.

Scroll down for video

Search: Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family near Oso, Washington. The Kuntz family were at a baseball game when the landslide ripped through, leaving dozens missing

Apocalyptic: Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide

Tribute: A bouquet of flowers left for victims sits perched on the seat of an abandoned vehicle in the wreckage of homes destroyed by Saturday's mudslide, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Oso, Washington

Search: Carol Massingale, right, and Terri Englebretson look at aerial photos of a massive landslide posted outside a market in Darrington

Emotion: Snohomish County Executive John Lovick wipes his eyes as he listens during a news conference about the deadly mudslide on Monday

Now, days into the search, the scale of the mudslide's devastation in a rural village north of Seattle is becoming apparent. At least 14 people are confirmed dead, as many as 176 people are missing, and about 30 homes are destroyed.

On Tuesday, the search continued for the missing as rain started to fall. The wet earth has hindered the search and teams are now using a hover craft.

'We're going to keep hope alive here as we do everything we can,' Gov. Jay Inslee told CNN on Tuesday.

John Pennington, director or the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, said the list of missing people probably contained duplicates, such as 'John Doe, 123 Steelhead Lane, brown hair, brown eyes' and 'John, 76'.

'The 176, I believe very strongly, is not going to be a number of fatalities,' he said on Monday night. 'We've got 176 names. We're trying to whittle that down.'

'We found a guy right here,' shouted a rescuer on Monday afternoon behind Young's home, after a golden retriever search dog found a corpse pinned under a pile of fallen trees. Searchers put a bag over the body, tied an orange ribbon on a branch to mark the site, and the crew moved on.

It had been stormy for weeks, but warm sunshine offered a false sense of peace on Saturday morning as weekend visitors settled into their vacation homes and locals slept in. Then came 'a giant slump,' said David Montgomery, an earth and space sciences professor at the University of Washington, describing the deep-seated slide resulting from long-term, heavy rainfall.

A scientist who documented the landslide conditions on the hillside that buckled had warned in a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of 'the potential for a large catastrophic failure,' The Seattle Times reported late Monday. 

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Sheer scale: The massive mudslide that killed at least 14 people on Saturday and left 176 missing is shown in this aerial photo taken on Monday, March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Washington

Victim: Rescue workers remove one of a number of bodies from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso on Monday

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso

This is one of the six bodies found after emergency services expressed doubt over their ability to find the missing people

Grim task: Volunteers Frank and Rhonda Cook watch as the final body they recovered on Sunday afternoon is lifted into a helicopter

That report was written by geomorphologist Daniel J. Miller and his wife, Lynne Rodgers Miller, The Times said. 'We've known it would happen at some point,' Daniel Miller told the newspaper.

Snohomish County Executive John Lovick and Public Works Director Steve Thomsen said on Monday night they were not aware of the 1999 report.

'A slide of this magnitude is very difficult to predict,' Thomsen told The Times. 'There was no indication, no indication at all.'

Within hours of the mudslide, emergency crews were searching for life in a post-apocalyptic scene, dodging chunks of splintered birch trunks, half-buried pickup trucks and growing pools of water from the now-blocked Stillaguamish River.

Ed Hrivnak, who was co-piloting an aircraft that was first to arrive at the scene, said a lot of the houses weren't buried. When they got hit, 'the houses exploded'. He said cars were crushed into little pieces, their tires the only signs that they had been vehicles.

He said he saw people so thoroughly covered in mud that searchers could only spot them by the whites of their waving palms. His helicopter rescued eight people, including a four-year-old boy, who was up to his knees in concretelike compressed mud.

The mud was so sticky, the rescuers were worried about getting stuck so the helicopter hovered about a foot away and the crew chief tried to pull him out.

Missing: 13-year-old Jovon Mangual,(holding his sister Brooke) stands alongside his sister Kaylee Spillers and brother Jacob (in blue t-shirt). Jacob managed to escape their Oso, Washington home on Saturday and was returned to his mother Jonielle Spillers (right). His brother and two sisters and father Billy Spillers are still missing.

Father and his children: Jovon Mangual (left in blue and right in football gear), Kaylee (as a tiger and right in pink) Brooke (pumpkin) and Jacob as a bumblebee pose for a picture on Halloween - and right with Billy Spillers - who is also missing

Missing: In this undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera, her daughter, Delaney Webb, (left), and her fiance, Alan Bejvl, (left), who are missing as a result of the huge landslide are shown while (right) Thom and Marcy Satterlee who are also missing are shown

'He was suctioned in that mud so much that his pants came off,' Hrivnak said.

The boy was taken to a hospital and was reunited with his mom. Hrivnak said the boy's father and three siblings are still missing.

Friends and families immediately launched their own rescue missions.

Elaine and her husband, Don Young, picking their way through the devastation, heard tapping, a steady beat. They got closer and realized it was coming from their neighbors' buckled home.

Trapped in an air pocket, Gary 'Mac' McPherson, 78, was banging away for help with a loose stick. The Youngs managed to pull him out, but family members said his wife, Linda McPherson, 69, a former librarian and school board member, did not survive.

Rescuers racing in fire trucks and ambulances screeched to a stop at the edge of the mile-square wasteland. Somewhere, someone was crying for help.

Fears: Family members say Christina Jefferds, left, and granddaughter Sanoah Huestis, right, have both been missing since the devastating mudslide

Searching: Married grandfather Steve Neal, 52, left, is also reportedly among the missing, while Summer Raffo's family says she may have been trapped in her vehicle

When a team of firefighters waded chest-deep into the mud, they had to be rescued themselves, and the ground search was suspended overnight Saturday, with the death toll at three.

On Sunday, after geologists deemed the area stable enough to re-enter, another five bodies were found. By Monday, when another six corpses were located, exhaustion and despair were overtaking the early adrenaline and alarm.

Nichole Webb Rivera frantically texted her two adult sons, her daughter and her daughter's fiance in the area to make sure they were OK. She heard back from her sons, but nothing from the other two.

And no one has been able to reach Rivera's parents, who live in a house along the Stillaguamish River, smack in the middle of where the slide came crashing down. Relatives called around, but the somber reality soon set in.

'We've lost four,' said Rivera, who grew up in Darrington, a logging town of about 1,400 people just to the east of the landslide.

Rivera has had no official confirmation from authorities. But when she saw an aerial photograph of Saturday's landslide, she knew her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, and her daughter, 20-year-old Delaney Webb, and Webb's fiance didn't make it out.

All that's left: A Little League picture frame caked with mud sits outside after flooding caused the mudslides

Nothing but memories: A woman holds family photos pulled from the rubble of her home

Hunt: Washington Governor Jay Inslee (center) reviews a map of the area affected with U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene

'It sounds terribly morbid, but looking at it, I'm resigned,' said Rivera, 39.

An American flag, salvaged unstained from the wreckage, had been draped over a buckled shed.

'The situation is very grim,' said Fire Chief Travis Hots, unshaven and with dark circles around his eyes. 'We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday.'

Chain saws buzzed as friends and families cut toppled houses open on Monday. Buddy, a large chocolate Labrador, was pulled muddy and cut from under the ruins on Sunday after a house was cut open. His owner has not been found.

McPherson, still hospitalized, abruptly a widower, asked his nephew Cory Kuntz to see if he could pull anything out of his home.

A box of slides, some photos, files and his deceased aunt's wallet piled up. Kuntz glanced at the gap in the roof that his uncle was yanked through. Then he looked out at the confusion of muddy detritus that included the smashed remains of his own home as well.

Mammoth: The search for survivors grew desperate on Monday, raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the eight confirmed fatalities

The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning

What was once a uniformed line of river and street along the hillside is now a mess of mud and water

'When you look at it you just kind of go in shock and you kind of go numb,' Kuntz said.

Gail Moffett, a retired firefighter who lives in Oso and works at the hardware store in Arlington, said she knows about 25 people who are missing. Among them, Moffett said, were entire families, including people with young children.

Moffett said some of the people who are missing were working in the area Saturday morning.

'There's so much pain going on in the community right now,' she said.

Darlene Elrod stood above the wreckage, scratching her head and just looking and staring in disbelief as she tried to orient herself and point out an entire neighborhood.

'It's gone,' she said.

See below for video

ABC US News | ABC Business News

Unbelievable.

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Dcblacqua, Chandler, United States, 1 hour ago

Should not that geology report gone to governor, mayor, sheriff so they could be aware, educate residents and at least have given them the option to stay or leave long before the event?

sj, Scotland, 1 hour ago

my thoughts are with you, May some at least be found alive.

Daisy Chain, Portland, United States, 1 hour ago

So who was that report done for? They just did it and shelved it? Heads should roll.

njuser, Marlboro, United States, 3 hours ago

Unbelievable.

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Tech Geologists warned about Washington landslide 15 years ago: Before and after shots clearly show the lethal geography that has worried experts since 1999 as DOZENS are feared dead

catherine c, London, United Kingdom, 22 minutes ago I have been following this very sad news since the day of the landslide and the news only seems to get worse. I mean wasn't it possible to start planting trees or some sort of vegetation which would have had deep roots and would have held the ground thus preventing the landslide/mudslide.

ByRyan Gormanand James Nye

PUBLISHED: 15:36 GMT, 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:40 GMT, 25 March 2014

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New before and after images of the colossal landslide in Oso, Washington, reveal the shocking scale of devastation which wiped out 100 homes, killing 14 and leaving 176 people unaccounted for.

More than one mile of rain-soaked hillside collapsed onto the remote town, which is just five square miles in size, at 11am on Saturday.

Three days on, hundreds of rescue workers with dogs, aircraft and sonar equipment remain scouring the wreckage for survivors in the slide which has swamped a fifth of Oso's land.

But amidst the devastation, experts have revealed they predicted this would happen in 1999.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Set side by side, the two images show how the one-mile stretch of land looked before the disaster this weekend which saw more than 176 go missing and killed 14

Sheer scale: The shocking difference caused by the massive mudslide is shown in these before and after aerial photos

The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning

Hit like a bulldozer: Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the massive mudslide that killed at least eight people on Saturday and left dozens missing

The main road, State Route 530, is now completely cut off as it is submerged in water. Rescue teams have parked as close to the edge as possible to look for survivors

The collapse swamped a fifth of the town, crushing more than 100 homes and leaving dozens of school pupils unaccounted for

In a report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, geologists warned of 'the potential for a large catastrophic failure' 15 years ago.

'We've known it would happen at some point, we just didn't know when,' co-author Daniel Miller told The Seattle Times.

Geological reports warning the hill is in imminent danger of collapse date back to the 1950s.

But the alerts, issued by experts every ten years, went unnoticed.

And in a press conference following Saturday's slide, the head of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, John Pennington, said 'it was considered very safe'.

Mr Miller said he was shocked to see houses being built around the danger zone weeks after a slide in 2006.

The slide, which was thought to be caused by heavy rain, formed a new channel along the cliff-side, but carpenters immediately set to work erecting homes along it.

'Frankly I was shocked that the county permitted any building from across the river,' Mr Miller told the paper.

Today, half a week after the latest slide, rescue workers are using chain saws and their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage, as an increasing number of residents report missing loved-ones.

And further rain over the next few days is expected to hamper recovery efforts.

On Monday morning the death toll stood at eight, but last night a further six bodies were found.

The tragic discovery was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive from the muck that engulfed dozens of homes.

Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of people unaccounted for had ballooned from 18 to 176 - and The County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters that 'the situation is very grim' - but emphasized that many of those names could be duplicates.

Scarred: An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill facing Stillaguamish River

Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster

The river's banks have collapsed and water is flooding after mud piled in from a hillside on Saturday, and remains the same today

This aerial shot was taken by Governor Jay Inslee as he helicoptered around the site while rescue workers search for survivors

What was once a uniformed line of river and street along the hillside is now a mess of mud and water

More than 100 homes were affected by the collapse of the hill and the overflowing river which now separates the town and covers one mile

'We're holding out hope, but keep in mind we've not found anybody alive on this pile since Saturday,' he said.

'The 176, I believe very strongly is not a number we're going to see in fatalities. I believe it's going to drop dramatically,' he said.

The list of the 176 missing is in some instances is very vague, said Pennington.

'In some cases, that list is very detailed. It's 'John, who has brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood.' Pennington said.

'In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, 'I met him once. I think he lived over there.'

However, while they do not expect the death toll to match the number of missing, they are concerned that many people were home when the slide struck at 11am on Saturday with such power it was described as being like a 'bulldozer'.

Several dozen homes were believed to have sustained some damage from the slide, Pennington told reporters at a command post in the nearby town of Arlington.

Search: From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Washington as the search for survivors grew on Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for

Grim: The death toll so far stood at eight on Monday morning, but the tragic discovery of six bodies on Monday evening was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive

Devastation: Search and rescue personnel continue working the area of Saturday's mudslide, at Oso, Washington

Apocalyptic: Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide

Tribute: A bouquet of flowers left for victims sits perched on the seat of an abandoned vehicle in the wreckage of homes destroyed by Saturday's mudslide, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Oso, Washington

Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso

This is one of the six bodies found after emergency services expressed doubt over their ability to find the missing people

The National Guard is expected to arrive on Tuesday morning to aid the search of the leveled homes and cars across the 1-mile square area hit.

Tragic stories from relatives of those missing are already emerging.

Jonielle Spillers, a nursing assistant fears that she may have lost three of her four children and her husband - while her youngest boy managed to barely escape the slide.

Her son Jovon Mangual, his half-sisters Kaylee Spillers, 5, Brooke Spillers, 2 and Jonielle's husband Billy Spillers are all missing.

According to Jovon's father, Jose Mangual, a staff sergeant in the US Army, the Spillers moved from Seattle to Oso two years ago.

He said that he had spoken to Jovon's 4-year-old half-brother Jacob Spillers who described the terrifying scene when the landslide struck.

According to Jacob, Billy Spillers - a chief petty officer in the Navy - was watching television with the three missing children when the land gave way.

Jacob said that he was on the second floor of the house and manged somehow to get away.

On her Facebook profile, Jonielle thanked everyone for their support and said she was 'not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband....please pray for us.'

Huge numbers: Authorities say they still don't know how many people remain missing from a deadly Washington state mudslide. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said late Monday that officials were working off a potential list of 176 people, but he stressed that authorities believed that included many duplicate names

Unrecognizable: Mudflows forver changed the landscape of this area one hour north of Seattle

Staggering: At least 14 people have died. Officials say they are still culling through multiple reports of people who may have lived or worked in the area. The slide smashed through a small community about 55 miles north of Seattle on Saturday morning

Other family members of the missing such as Pete Bellomo, of Bellevue spent the day trying to find out any information on his daughter Shelley and her partner Jerry Logan.

He did not hold out hope they would be found alive.

'No, no, I don’t think there’s any chance of that ... but I haven’t been informed of anything yet,' he said to the Seattle Times.

Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home when the landslide piled into his house and is missing according to his daughter Pam Keller.

Caroline Neal hopes her missing father, Steven, 52, will still be rescued. He's a plumber who was on a service call when the land gave way.

Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management officials say the area has a history of unstable land. A slide also happened there in 2006. Authorities believe the latest slide was caused by recent heavy rainfall that saturated and destabilized the ground. David Montgomery, an earth and space sciences professor at the University of Washington, said these deep-seated slides tend to occur from rainfall over months or seasons. 'This was a big deep one, a giant slump,' he said.

'My dad is a quick thinker, and he is someone who takes action in an emergency,' Neal told CNN affiliate KING. 'If he had any warning at all, we just have to think he is somewhere and he's safe and they just can't reach him right now.

One retired lumber mill worker, Reed Miller, told Seattle television station KOMO-TV that his riverfront house was demolished by the slide, and that his 47-year-old son, Joseph. with whom he shared the home, was probably swept away with it.

'Well, he was at home. As far as I know he's gone,' said Miller, who was at a grocery store in town at the time. 'There's no official (word) that he's been found yet, but he could be buried. I just don't know.'

Cory Kuntz and several volunteers worked Monday with chain saws to cut through the roof of his uncle's house, which was swept about 150 yards from its previous location. Kuntz said his aunt, Linda McPherson, was killed. He and the others pulled out files, his aunt's wallet and a box filled with pictures and slides.

McPherson was branch manager of the Darrington library and served for about 15 years on the local school board.

Her husband Gary McPherson was injured in the landslide too but survived.

'When you look at it, you just kind of go in shock, and you kind of go numb,' he said, adding that there were more people out helping Sunday. On Monday, they couldn't get through roadblocks.

'They are all eager to get down here, but unfortunately they can't. It just shows how tight this community is,' he said.

Doug Reuwsaat, who grew up in the area and was also helping in the search, said authorities had told people to stay away.

'We're related to a lot of these people from around here. So that's why we're here,' he said.

Among those who are missing are the wife and granddaughter of Oso firefighter Seth Jeffereds.

He and his stepdaughter were out collecting errands when the landslide began according to him.

Christina Jeffereds, 45, was at home babysitting 4-month old Sanoah Huestis when the earth began to move.

Also, Barbara Welsh, who spoke to reporters at a news briefing on Monday said that she hadn't seen her husband, William Welsh since Saturday.

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Gone: The entire side of this small mountain was washed away

Frustrations were growing as family members and neighbors waited for official word on the missing and the dead. Elaine Young and her neighbors uncovered several bodies Sunday and had to contact authorities to get them removed.

Late on Saturday, rescuers heard people yelling for help but were unable to reach anyone. The soupy, quicksand-like mud was so thick and deep that searchers had to turn back. When crews were able to get back onto the debris field Sunday, they found only more bodies. 'We didn't see or hear any signs of life,' Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Sunday evening.

They also found a chocolate Labrador named Buddy alive, and helped pull the dog from the rubble, leading her to wonder if other survivors could be out there, desperate for help.

'If we found a dog alive yesterday afternoon that we cut out of a part of a house, doesn't that seem that maybe somebody could be stuck up under part of a house and be alive too?' asked Young, whose home survived the slide but was on the edge of the devastation.

Nichole Webb Rivera told the Seattle Times she frantically called and texted her parents, her daughter and her daughter’s fiance when the massive hillside collapsed.

Rivera said her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, lived near the center of the slide, and she doesn’t believe they made it out.

She said her 20-year-old daughter, Delaney Webb, and Webb’s fiance were visiting the older couple at the time.

Rivera lives in Houston but has traveled to Washington following the slide. She said Monday after visiting the area: 'We’ve lost four.'

Ron Thompson, whose home was destroyed, stopped by the evacuation shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington to find out if his friends turned up alive. 'We lost a lot of good kids. I don’t know what else to tell you. It hurts,’ he said before driving away.

Also among the missing was a group of girls who had been having a slumber party, according to a resident interviewed by The Seattle Times.

Retired firefighter Gail Moffett, who lives in Oso, said she knows about 25 people who are missing, including entire families with young children.

'It's safe to say I'll know everyone affected or who they are,' Moffett said. 'There's so much pain going on in the community right now.'

Among the injured were a mother and her baby. Amanda Skorjanc, 25, was in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Her son, 22-week-old Duke Suddarth, remained in critical condition and was improving, Gregg said. Three other men were in serious condition.

The search for victims resumed under partly cloudy skies on Monday after treacherous quicksand-like conditions forced rescue workers to suspend their efforts at dusk on Sunday. Some workers, mired in mud up to their armpits, had to be dragged to safety.

Members of a search team were forced to retreat again from the western edge of the slide area after movement was detected along a 1,500-foot (460-meter) stretch of earth, said Rebecca Hover, a spokeswoman for the county executive's office.

The first eight bodies were found by Sunday evening in the square-mile (2.6 square km) disaster zone of tangled debris, rocks, trees and mud, a sheriff's spokesman said. The late afternoon Twitter bulletin on Monday said the remains of six more victims had also been found.

Staggering loss: A flag sits on top of what was Cory Kuntz and his family's home. The family was at a baseball game when the river of mud swept through the area and leveled their home

Debris: Water and mud back up on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide near Oso, in Washington

Search operation: A rescue helicopter flies above the area on Sunday surveying the damage and looking for survivors or bodies

Here to help: This search helicopter looks for bodies - alive or dead - among the ruins of the catastrophic mudflow

All that's left: A Little League picture frame caked with mud sits outside after flooding caused the mudslides

Officer Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the police department in nearby Everett, said all 14 bodies had been recovered. Another eight people were injured in the landslide.

Authorities on Monday also reported a sharp jump in the number of people listed as unaccounted for in the chaos after the disaster, heightening fears the casualty toll could climb even higher.

'The number is, I think no question, going to decline dramatically. But it is a number that we want to just go ahead and disclose and say, 'That's what we're working with,'' Pennington said.

The potential number of victims in harm's way was higher on a Saturday, with many people at home, than on a weekday when more residents would have been at work or school, Pennington said. He said search teams were also trying to account for an unspecified number of construction workers who were in the area and motorists who were driving by at the time.

But authorities were hoping many of those reported as missing would turn out to be survivors who were either double-counted or slow in alerting loved ones and local officials as to their whereabouts.

The slide in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains along the Stillaguamish River piled mud, boulders and rubble up to 15 feet deep in some places.

It blocked the flow of the river, backing up water behind a natural dam left in the stream's channel that caused flooding of seven homes upstream of the slide, Pennington said.

'The bad news is that the water continues to rise and homes are inundated up to the eaves in many cases,' he said. 'If there is a silver lining in that event ... it is that it is a slow, methodical rise. You can see the danger.'

Destruction: A demolished house sits in the mud on Highway 530 on Sunday, a day after a giant landslide occurred near Oso, in Washington

Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family - who escaped certain doom while attending a Saturday morning baseball game

Authorities said as the volume and pressure of water behind the dam continued to build, there was a chance that additional downstream flooding and mud flows could be unleashed.

Water from the river was trickling through the side of the debris plug and creating a new stream channel, prompting authorities to post observation teams downstream to watch for signs of danger, state emergency management officials said.

Hots said Monday's search for victims would incorporate the use of aircraft, teams with search dogs and special electronic equipment.

'Also, the Washington State Department of Transportation is going to have heavy equipment out there to clear mud out of the way so that we can continue to search those areas,' he said.

Authorities believe Saturday's slide was caused by recent heavy rains that made the terrain unstable.

From the beginning, rescue crews on the ground have faced dangerous and unpredictable conditions as they navigated quicksand-like mud that was 15 feet deep in some places. Some who went in got caught up to their armpits in the thick, sticky sludge.

From another angle: An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington

The threat of potential flash floods or another landslide also loomed over rescuers. On Monday, some crews had to pull back because of concern that a hillside could shift.

The spirits of search-and-rescue teams were raised late Saturday when they heard cries for help from the flotsam of trees, dirt and shattered wood. But no one else has been found alive.

The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which is continuing to back up, officials said. Authorities said Monday at least seven homes are now flooded, and more flooding is expected.

Frequent, heavy rain and steep geography make the area prone to landslides. Less than a decade ago, another slide hit in the same general area.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene as 'a square mile of total devastation' after flyingover the disaster area Sunday. He assured families that everything was being done to find their missing loved ones.

Update: Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots speaks to the media in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, following the massive mudslide which wiped out homes and killed at least eight

On Monday, President Barack Obama declared an emergency, ordering federal aid for the struggling community and federal agencies to coordinate relief efforts.

Barbara Welsh went to Monday's news briefing in Arlington to get more information. She said she has not seen her husband, William Welsh, since Saturday, when he went to help someone in Oso with a water tank.

Bruce Blacker, who lives just west of the slide, doesn't know the whereabouts of six neighbors.

'It's a very close-knit community,' Blacker said as he waited at an Arlington roadblock before troopers let him through.

Smashed: A mudslide carried a house with people inside across a road in rural Snohomish County on Saturday

Splintered: One of the homes brought down by the fatal mudslide

This is just horrific!! The news coverage here in t...

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klarp, Waltham USA, moments ago

The national guard was only dispatched today and this happened on Saturday?? What the heck???

anonymouse, London, 9 minutes ago

We sit on this planet, with our botox, egos and pretentions and it can all be wiped out in a blink of an eye!

space-helmet, bournemouth, United Kingdom, 10 minutes ago

Why are we only hearing about this today ?????

USERNAME, CITY, Australia, 12 minutes ago

The affected area looked bald and devoid of trees in the before pictures. There seemed to be a crystal clear demarcation between this affected area and the normal surrounding area which looked lush with vegetation/trees.It seems to me that the body entrusted with the care of this land didn't do anything at all. How can you know that an area is likely to be affected by a landslide and not do anything about it? And that too in a developed nation like America!!I mean wasn't it possible to start planting trees or some sort of vegetation which would have had deep roots and would have held the ground thus preventing the landslide/mudslide? Or if that want possible then why didn't they move the people who lived in that area and diverted the road to minimize damages?My payers for all those still missing and my heartfelt condolences to the people who have lost their near and dear ones in this accident.

Moe, London, 22 minutes ago

It's baffling as the hill isn't very high but it starts near the top. Something in this areas history must have caused this. Pin trees don't have large root systems, so they will move easily with the mud, perhaps a tree with a better root system should be grown in this area, but assume in the winter this area is covered in snow.

catherine c, London, United Kingdom, 22 minutes ago

I have been following this very sad news since the day of the landslide and the news only seems to get worse. I cannot imagine the heartbreak and sorrow the families are going through but please know that many people are thinking of you. If donations are being accepted, please let us know where to donate.

Korky the Cat, Hinckley, United Kingdom, 32 minutes ago

Thought and prayers to everyone affected by this from across the "pond".

AGKrisko, Toronto, Canada, 46 minutes ago

DEFORESTATION at it's worse!

Opinionated, Someplace, United Kingdom, 46 minutes ago

Very sad. Reminds me of Aberfan, except the mountain at Aberfan was man made

rt11, Renton, 47 minutes ago

It's Western Washington State: Rain, mud, mountains, rivers. The reason people lived there - the reason warnings were ignored, is because people have limited means and must make risk assessments in everything they do, including driving one's care on the freeway to work each day. Bad stuff happens. It's part of the human condition.

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