Skip to comments.Cries for help still heard in fatal mudslide near Oso
Posted on 03/23/2014 7:33:42 AM PDT by smokingfrog
Rescue crews searched into the night for survivors from a massive mudslide in Washington state that killed at least three people, after hearing voices from the debris field pleading for help.
The slide of mud, trees and rocks happened about 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Several people - including an infant - were critically injured and at least six houses were destroyed.
Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said at a news briefing late Saturday that searchers weren't giving up on finding more people.
"We have people who are yelling for our help, and we are going to take extreme risks," Hots said.
It wasn't clear how many people might still be alive, he said.
"This is still a rescue mission until we determine otherwise," Hots said.
The slide also blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which prompted an evacuation notice because water was rising rapidly behind the debris. Authorities worried about severe downstream flooding if water suddenly broke through the blockage.
The landslide also completely covered State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle. It was at least 135 feet wide and 180 feet deep and hit just before 11 a.m., Snohomish County authorities said.
(Excerpt) Read more at komonews.com ...
Water still rising....
People cry for help from underneath rubble after 3 die in Washington landslide
It sounds like one of the rivers is blocked by the mudslide, so if rain continues and that mud dam suddenly lets loose, there will be more problems.
I drive up to that area every summer on the way to my sister’s cabin (not affected by the slide). That is perhaps the biggest mudslide I’ve ever seen.
It rains all the time in that area, right?? What is different this time? Just the intensity of the rain, or what?
Yes, lots of rain. You can see just how large the slide was on either king5 news, komo4 news or kiro7 news. I’ve been monitoring ham/scanner/online feeds since yesterday. I have relatives out there but they are above the slide and ok.
How terrifying.. Prayers for these people.
Yes, it’s a very wet area. We’ve had heavy rains in recent weeks, and mudslides are common because of all the hills.
Western Washington has had week after week of heavy rains with some breaks in between but leaving the ground saturated. It is supposed to be a nice, dry day today so that will be better for searching.
Guess I will not try to go to one of my favorite hikes at Boulder River, which would entail getting through the closed area.
There will be a press conference a 9 am pst on komo 4 news.
Thanks. Watching it now.
A 180 ft. deep landslide is quite impressive. Hope no one is buried in that mess.
Latest headline and photos here:
18 people unaccounted for in slide area and 28 to 30 homes impacted by slide, fire chief says
I had counted at least 26 houses in the aerial photos. Damn news reporters dont work on weekends, so all the wires were just relaying the same incorrect story of six houses destroyed.
This is terrible. 18 people unaccounted for after 24 hours. Thats not good in a small town area like that, where everyone knows everyone else. They arent lost in the crowd somewhere.
And apparently the news outlets dont know how to use a map or a photo for scale. The bigger trees in these photos are 40-80 feet tall.
That slide is massive.
Prayers for these people, their families, and their animals.
Agreed. I watched the presser and it is uncertain still as to which way the backed up water will go. The slide area, referred to as “the pile” is too fluid and rescue personnel cannot transverse it. There may be people trapped in buried cars. I pray not.
I’m sure “the pile” is a soupy mess, like quicksand.
As a Geologist, I look at the terrain above that river, and it’s scary to think that people built their houses there in the first place. But we (humans) don’t think in terms of geologic time, so we don’t think it will happen in our lifetime. And certainly our local building and zoning departments don’t think enough about Geology. But the mountainside shows clear evidence of previous massive slides.
Mother Nature don’t play.
And another photo, slightly different angle, with houses in the foreground.
In addition to the people who were in harm’s way, there were cattle in this area, and of course all the wildlife.
One man was driving behind another vehicle that was driving (annoyingly) slow. The man said if not for that slow driver, he would have been swept away, because it happened right in front of both of their vehicles.
Sometimes it’s a blessing to be delayed by a slow driver.
Water is now easing around the pile into what used to be the previous river route.
Twitter feed #530slide reads possible dozens missing. Announcement at 9 am pst.
Rescue crews have been pulled back...possibility of more slide activity.