News / USA

US Mudslide Kills 3, with 18 Missing

  • Brenda Moe looks on after placing a cross with a yellow ribbon for victims of the Oso, Washington mudslide on her front lawn in Darrington, Washington, March 27, 2014.
  • A searcher walks through a massive pile of debris at the scene of a deadly mudslide in Oso, Washington, March 27, 2014.
  • An excavator is used as search work continues in the mud and debris from a massive mudslide that struck Oso near Darrington, Washington, March 27, 2014.
  • Robin Youngblood smiles after embracing Snohomish County helicopter crew chief Randy Fay, who helped rescue her after a deadly mudslide in Washington, March 26, 2014.
  • Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Crisp, liaison officer for the Washington National Guard, coordinates the arrival of a search team at the site of the mudslide in Oso, Washington, March 26, 2014.
  • Community members unpack a truckload of donated goods from The Rock Church, Darrington, Washington, March 26, 2014.
  • Jammi Parris, a waitress at the Blue Bird Cafe, paints a yellow ribbon on a window in downtown Arlington, Washington, March 25, 2014.
  • Teresa Welter cries as she holds a candle at a vigil for mudslide victims in Arlington, Washington, March 25, 2014.
  • A searcher uses a small boat to look through debris from a deadly mudslide in Oso, Washington, March 25, 2014.
  • An aerial view of the area affected by a landslide near State Route 530 is seen in this photo provided by Governor Jay Inslee's office, taken near Oso, Washington March 23, 2014.
  • A emergency vehicle is parked as a landslide and debris block Highway 530 near Oso, Washington, March 23, 2014.
  • Officials survey a large mudslide that pushed debris and at least one house onto Highway 530 near Oso, Washington, March 22, 2014.
VOA News
A massive landslide in the western U.S. state of Washington has killed three people and left 18 others unaccounted for.

Authorities say a wall of mud, trees and rocks cascaded down a mountainside in a rural area north of the major city of Seattle on Saturday, demolishing as many as 30 houses in its path. Eight people were injured.

Rescue workers heard voices crying for help and searched through the night into Sunday for survivors. But authorities said the rescuers were unable to reach some areas because the mud was still moving and was "like quicksand."

One motorist described seeing the mudslide.

"I was the third car behind a truck with a boat. I saw the darkness washing everything off the road. I am not sure that truck made it through."

Officials blamed the mudslide on groundwater saturation after recent heavy rainfalls.

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