Washington Mudslide Death Toll Has Likely Risen to 24

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Rescue workers attempting to clean up the devastation of a massive mudslide in Washington say that the number of likely deaths has risen to 24. Workers recovered two bodies on Tuesday and believed that they had located eight others. The confirmed death toll remains at 16 while workers try to recover the bodies.

176 people in the area surrounding Oso, Wash. remain unaccounted for and 49 homes were destroyed by the landslide. To give you a sense of just how cataclysmic this was, this is how The New York Times describes it:

The Oso landslide brought down something like three times the volume of mud as there is concrete in Hoover Dam in one momentous cascade, creating a one-square-mile path of destruction.

Search teams are now combing the area with rescue dogs, sending cameras into debris in hopes of finding air pockets, and seeking electronic signals from phones that might be buried under the piles of detritus.

One resident described the wall of mud traveling over 100 miles per hour, and her house was ripped from its foundation and carried a quarter of a mile.

Some residents complained that they had not been warned about the geological risks in the area, and have already been approached about a lawsuit.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.