108 people are missing or unaccounted for in the Oso mudslide. This tragic information comes from Monday (March 24), as 108 people are now on the list that rescue personnel are working with. According to an updated report from King 5 News on Monday, this is in addition to the eight people that have been confirmed dead. The tragic news just seems to be getting worse by the day as emergency workers try to find signs of life in the devastation that has taken place near the Oso and Arlington areas of Western Washington state.
It was estimated that the 1-square-mile mudslide destroyed as many as 30 homes as it took out a small village on Saturday (March 22). Search efforts continued through the weekend, but they couldn't continue through the night due to the treacherous conditions for the rescue crews. They described the area as basically being quicksand and that it was very hard-going for anyone trying to go in to help. Some people were plucked from the mud and debris, but many more are still unaccounted for at this time.
Speaking about what was taking place Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots stated on Sunday (March 23) that, "We didn't see or hear any signs of life out there today." He went on to explain that, "search and rescue mode. It has not gone to a recovery mode at this time." The sad revelation was also made that they could hear people yelling for help late on Saturday but that searchers had to turn back due to how thick the soupy mud was in the area.
Governor Jay Inslee has already declared the mudslide a disaster area and local officials are trying hard to locate anyone that might be on that list of 108 people unaccounted for since Saturday.