Shelby DeHaven, ‘Doah Managing Editor
April 2, 2014
The death toll from the massive landslide in rural Washington state on Mar. 22 continues to rise as rescue workers continue to search. As of Apr. 1, the death toll had risen to 27. According to CNN, “twenty-two people still are missing, down from 30 on Monday, authorities said.” They have released the names of 19 victims, all ranging in age from four months to 71 years.
“On Mar. 22, a rain-saturate hillside along the north fork of the Stillaguamish River gave way, sending a square-mile rush of wet earth and rock into the outskirts of the town of Oso in Washington’s North Cascade Mountains.”
About 600 people, including more than 100 volunteers, are involved in the daily search for bodies– and the hope that someone might still be alive. Searchers and cadaver dogs are trying to search in up to 70 feet thick muck.
They are also slowed down by the standing water caused by the flooding after the river was blocked. “The slide cut off the city of Darrington and dammed up the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, causing the water to pool behind the dam,” according to USA Today. The state hydrologist measured 15 to 20 feet of debris blocking the river.
Luckily for the searchers, the warmer temperatures and the lack of rain has made the search conditions easier. Previously, two of the nine cadaver dogs suffered from the effects of hypothermia.
The search continues but the hope of survivors decreases.