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Washington State Mudslide Leaves 14 Dead & 108 Still Missing

Mon, March 24, 2014 7:29pm EDT by 2 Comments
Washington State Mudslide
Lindsey Wasson/The Seattle Times-Pool/News/Getty Images

So sad. A March 22 mudslide in Seattle has tragically claimed the lives of at least 14 people, and authorities are still searching for 108 others who have been reported missing.

On the morning of March 22, rural Seattle was devastated by a massive mudslide that took the lives of 14 people, injured dozens, and left 108 missing. Rescue workers are frantically searching the rubble for victims who might still be trapped alive beneath the debris.

Washington State Mudslide — Tragedy Leaves 14 Dead & Dozens Injured

The death toll will undoubtably continue to rise, as rescue teams continue their excavation efforts. An estimated 30 homes were destroyed by the natural disaster, which claimed a 6-month old boy as one of its injured victims. He is fighting for his life, in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“Basically, the people were swept away, pinned up against things, covered,” Elizabeth Hunter, a Harborview spokeswoman, told the Los Angeles Times. She also explained that most of the mudslide victims suffered “crushing injuries.”

The slide occurred in the small town of Oso, off highway 530 in the northern Seattle suburbs. Since then, there have been more than 100 reports of missing people. “There may be people in their cars. There may be people in their homes,” Travis Hots, chief of Snohomish County Fire District 21, revealed to reporters on March 23.

In the words of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, “I get a sense we’re going to have some hard news here.” Sadly it seems he is right.

Snohomish County Prone To Natural Disasters

This is not the first time that the affected area of Snohomish County, Washington has been hit with a natural disaster that has taken multiple lives. Major flooding occurred there in 1933, and the area also suffered mudslides in 1967 and 2006. The 2006 slide bore down in the very same area as this recent slide on March 22.

“This is the very same mass of rock and dirt,” Tim Walsh, geologic hazards chief for the Washington State Deptartment of Natural Resources, told the Seattle Times. “It just moved again,” he explained. “Landslides often occur in the same place over and over.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims’ loved ones during this difficult time.

— India Irving

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