WASHINGTON STATE — On Saturday, a disastrous landslide had claimed the lives of 8 people so far, and 108 are still missing. Authorities in Washington State have worked furiously to find more survivors.
According to the sheriff’s office, the first reports of the landslide came in around 10:45 a.m. Saturday (1:45 p.m. ET).
“Total devastation. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. It reminds me of what a tornado looks like when it’s touched the ground,” Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said.
“You can tell from the debris this appears to be part of somebody’s kitchen, the inside of the house,” he said.
The landslide covered about one square mile and was caused by groundwater saturation tied to severe weather in the area over the past several weeks.
Officials have stated that the ongoing operation in Washington State is an ‘active rescue’, not a recovery effort.
Rescuers heard voices around 11:30 p.m. and considered trying to reach the possible survivor or survivors, but “the mud was too thick and deep,” Hots told reporters, and rescuers had to back off.
“Mother Nature holds the cards here on the ability of ground personnel to enter the slide area. It is essentially a slurry,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters Sunday.
“Every human endeavor … is being explored here to rescue and find their loved ones,” the governor said.
At least six houses were destroyed in the landslide and as many as 16 were damaged, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.