Rescue workers sifted through mucky rubble on Tuesday amid dwindling hopes of finding any more survivors from among scores of people still missing from a devastating weekend mudslide in Washington state that killed at least 14.
About a dozen workers kept up the search for as many as 176 people who have been reported missing since a rain-soaked hillside collapsed in the morning hours of March 22, swallowing dozens of homes near Oso, Washington.
Work crews began clearing debris along the southern portion of the mudslide area.
Compounding their sense of urgency was a fear of flooding as water levels rose behind a crude dam of mud and rubble that had been dumped into the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River by the slide in an area about 90 kilometers northeast of Seattle.
Authorities were hoping the number of people listed as missing would decline as they had perhaps been double-counted or had been slow to alert family and officials about their whereabouts.
More than 100 properties were hit by the mudslide.