Witnesses described it as a terrifying wall of mud. A mudslide in Washington State slammed into homes outside Oso Sunday, leaving at least 8 people dead and possibly 18 more missing. After flying over the area by helicopter, governor Jay Inslee described the disaster as "a square mile of total devastation" that was "10 times more devastating" when you see it in person. Among the reported missing are a grandmother and a baby. Another baby was critically injured and is recovering at a hospital.
A rescue effort is ongoing in a situation that has been described as fluid. The mudslide wiped out a neighborhood of 28 to 30 homes, and cars were on the road at the time. In its wake, it left a debris wall 1.5 miles across and 15 to 20 feet deep in some places. Authorities and relatives are in the process of accounting for everyone who may have been in the area at the time.
First responders say it was the worst natural disaster they had seen in decades. Snohomish County Sheriff Rodney Rochon said, "Think back to what Mount St. Helens and Toutle River looked like -- and that's what we're looking at."
After a disaster like this, we wonder how the survivors are coping. The Red Cross is on the scene right now, and there are shelters in the area. People impacted by the slide should register with the Red Cross website Safe & Well. We will update with any other organizations accepting donations to help the victims. We desperately hope the last missing people will be found alive.
Have you ever witnessed a mudslide near your home?
Image via ABC News