Washington, March 26 (RHC) US authorities announced that the number of deaths due to a landslide Saturday in the Northeastern state of Washington increased to 24, with 176 missing persons.
Search operations are underway while another eight dead bodies have not yet been rescued due to adverse weather conditions in the zone, according to the Seattle Times.
Firefighters thought that people trapped in their cars on the highway were still inside the vehicles and they could be rescued, but most of the cars were twisted or torn apart, the paper said.
Several National Guard units in the state have carried out rescue operations since Tuesday, while local authorities say that they still hope to find survivors out of one hundred locals who are still missing.
The landslide occurred in the rural community of Oso, in Snohomish County, 60 kilometers northeast of Seattle. The phenomenon destroyed some 50 homes and caused an undetermined number of injured and property damage.
President Barack Obama, who traveled to The Hague to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit, declared the estate of emergency in the affected areas on Tuesday and contacted the Homeland Security Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate rescue operations, the paper said.
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