Search for Washington landslide survivors amid cries for help
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 12:16 PM -
Rescuers searched for survivors of Saturday's Washington State mudslide overnight amid cries for help of people still trapped within the debris.
At least three people have been confirmed dead in the slide, which happened Saturday at 11 a.m. and also left six houses destroyed and several people, including an infant, badly injured.
Firefighters are searching the area with the aid of thermal imaging cameras, but authorities say they don't know how many people could have been affected by the slide, which covers a large area of Snohomish County, about an hour's drive away from Seattle.
Two of the dead were killed in the slide, while a third died in hospital.
Washington's governor issued a state of emergency for the area.
The debris field covered State Route 530 near the town of Oso. That section is 41 m wide and 55 m deep.
Some evacuations have been ordered because part of the slide also blocks a section of the Stillaguamish River, and water has been observed rising behind the blockage.
Authorities are worried about flooding should the water suddenly break free, and a flash flood watch was issued for the area by the National Weather Service.
With files from the Associated Press.