Last Saturday, at 10:45 am, part of a hillside above Oso, Washington -- known by some locals as "Slide Hill" -- collapsed after weeks of heavy rain, sending a wall of mud and debris across a small valley of the Stillaguamish River. The neighborhood below the hillside was destroyed, and more than 100 properties damaged, resulting in at least 14 verified deaths -- a number that may grow larger, as the list of missing has grown to 176. Efforts to rescue victims have been slow, as the surrounding hills remain dangerously unstable and the affected area is so large. Rescue workers continued their search throughout last night. [16 photos]
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An aerial photo taken Monday, March 24, 2014, shows the massive mudslide that killed at least 14 people on Saturday and left dozens missing, near Oso, Washington. The search for survivors grew this week, raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the eight confirmed fatalities. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The hillside which collapsed and produced a mudslide near Oso, Washington, in a March 23, 2014 handout photo from Governor Jay Inslee's office. (Reuters/Gov. Jay Inslee's Office) #
This March 23, 2014 photo shows a view of the damage from Saturday's mudslide.(AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation) #
A landslide and structural debris blocks Highway 530 near Oso, Washington, on March 23, 2014.(Reuters/Lindsey Wasson/Pool) #
Search and rescue workers set up along a flooded portion of Highway 530 down the road from a massive landslide outside Darrington, Washington, on March 24, 2014. The confirmed death toll from a devastating weekend mudslide in Washington state climbed to 14 people on Monday as six more bodies were found, while scores of others remained listed as missing two days after the tragedy, authorities said. (Reuters/Jason Redmond) #
Officials survey a large mudslide near Oso, Washington, on March 22, 2014. (Reuters/Washington State Police) #
Eveleen Promise holds her son, Xaven, 7, and stands with her husband Patrick Belt, right, and Doug Massingale stands behind as they all wait for word of missing family members at the fire station in Oso, Washington, following a deadly mudslide two days earlier, on March 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) #
A view of the damage from Saturday's mudslide in Oso, Washington, on March 22, 2014.(AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation) #
The hillside which collapsed and produced the mudslide, on March 23, 2014. (Reuters/Gov. Jay Inslee's Office) #
A comparison view of the mudslide in the Stillaguamish River valley, shown in an aerial photo on March 24, 2014 (top), and in a recent view, pre-mudslide, captured by Google Earth (bottom). (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Google, Inc.) #
Another view of the damage from Saturday's mudslide near Oso, on March 23, 2014.(AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation) #
Flooding of the Stillaguamish River above the mudslide. (Handout, Governor Jay Inslee's Office) #
A Civil Air Patrol plane flies over the massive mudslide on March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Washington.(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) #
Brenda Neal inspects aerial photos of a massive landslide for any signs of her missing husband in Darrington, Washington, on March 24, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Redmond) #
A house destroyed by the huge mudslide, on March 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) #
Rescue workers and a search dog head out to continue searching for missing people caught in the mudslide along Highway 530 near Darrington, Washington, on March 24, 2014. (Reuters/Jason Redmond)
The haboob is coming! Cold front kicks up huge 10,500ft wall of dust in Texas and New Mexico
A huge dust storm barreled across parts of Texas and New Mexico earlier this week, creating a wall of dirt and sand that was more than 10,500ft high in places.
The dramatic effect of the wall of dust moving towards towns on Tuesday evening was caught by several residents, who tweeted pictures of the storm's progress.
A cold front, bolstered by strong winds, created the 'haboob' storm, which comes from an Arabic word meaning 'blowing furiously'.
Rolling in: The gigantic dust storm is seen from a plane as it headed towards Amarillo
A weather map measures the intensity of the dust storm as it hit Clovis in New Mexico
The intense storm, which traveled at speeds of up to 55mph, made driving conditions dangerous, with visibility suddenly reduced to zero in some places.
'There were strong west winds ahead of the front that brought winds of 20mph to 40mph,' Accuweather weather expert Ken Clark said. 'A strong north wind developed with wind gusts up to 50-plus mph that created the dust storm.'
Haboobs are caused when air collects up dust and debris as it is pushed and down and forwards in front of a thunderstorm. They travel fairly quickly and usually last from 10 to 30 minutes. They are more commonly seen in Africa and the Arabian peninsula, but haboobs can form in any arid or desert-like landscape.
Colleen O'Neal took a picture as the storm reached the Texas town of Lubbock, blocking out the early evening sun. 'Haboob rolling into Lubbock. Here it comes ... ready or not,' she tweeted at 6.20pm on Tuesday.
Taylor Brooks, of Texas Tech, also tweeted a picture of the storm, as the dust cloud lingered menacingly against the red sky during a sunset.
The arrival of the haboob to Lubbock was also pictured by Matt Mahalik, who tweeted: 'Close your windows NOW' alongside a swirling cloud darkening the evening sky. He later tweeted a picture from the middle of the dust storm in Texas.
The skies above Lubbock in Texas darken as the storm, also known as a haboob, passes over on Tuesday night
Taylor Brooks of Texas Tech caught this shot of the storm as it headed over Lubbock
The massive dust storm clouded over a sunset as it headed towards Lubbock just after 6pm
The darkening skies caused by the haboob were also captured by Lubbock resident Bruce Dennis
New before and after images show the true devastation to the area following the colossal landslide in Oso, Washington
After hearing voices pleading for help, rescuers were ‘combing through the debris’ in an overnight search for survivors from a massive mudslide in Washington state that has killed at least three people and forced evacuations because of fears of severe flooding.
The slide of mud, trees and rocks happened about 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. Several people - including an infant - were critically injured and at least six houses were destroyed.
Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said at a news briefing late on Saturday that searchers weren't giving up on finding more people alive.
Search and rescue operations are underway for survivors following a landslide along State Route 530, between the cities of Arlington and Darrington, on Saturday
An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington
Robin Youngblood, who survived the landslide that destroyed her house, holds the only item that survived the disaster, a painting of a Cherokee warrior that was knocked from the wall and muddied
‘We have people who are yelling for our help, and we are going to take extreme risks,’ Hots said.
‘This is still a rescue mission until we determine otherwise,’ Hots said. ‘We don't have a firm idea of how many people are out there.’ Shari Ireton, spokesperson for the Snohomish County Sheriff's office, said rescuers were using thermal imaging cameras to help try to find people.
The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which prompted an evacuation notice because water was rising rapidly behind the debris. Authorities worried about severe downstream flooding if water suddenly broke through the blockage.
Volunteers carry supplies to help set up an evacuation center at Post Middle School in Arlington to assist those impacted by the landslide on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish river in Arlington, Wash
The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning
A sign is placed to direct those in need to a Red Cross shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington, Washington
The landslide also completely covered State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle. It was at least 135 feet wide and 180 feet deep and hit just before 11 a.m., Snohomish County authorities said.
The Snohomish County sheriff's office reported that two people had been killed at the scene. Authorities later said one of the people who was rescued died at a hospital.
The injured included a six-month-old boy, who was in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said two other victims were in critical condition - an 81-year-old man and a 37-year-old man - while a 58-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman were in serious condition.
Five of the injured were brought to Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, and one has already been treated and released, said hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Egger. She didn't know the condition of the others.
An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River leading up to the landslide, above, that shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington
Smashed: A mudslide carried a house with people inside across a road in rural Snohomish County on Saturday
A fatal mudslide brought debris down the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014, stopping the flow of the river and destroying several homes
Eemergency workers assist at the scene of a mudslide which destroyed several homes and killed at least three people in Oso, Washington
An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill facing Stillaguamish River, in a landslide along State Route 530
The American Red Cross set up at the hospital, and evacuation shelters were created at Post Middle School in Arlington and the Darrington Community.
One eyewitness told the Daily Herald that he was driving on the roadway and had to quickly brake to avoid the mudslide.
‘I just saw the darkness coming across the road. Everything was gone in three seconds,’ Paulo Falcao told the newspaper.
Search-and-rescue help came from around the region, plus the Washington State Patrol and the Army Corps of Engineers.
Hots said crews heard voices late on Saturday night on the eastern edge of the debris field.
People who live in the North Fork's flood plain, from the small communities of Oso to Stanwood, were urged to flee to higher ground
An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River leading up to the landslide, above, that shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill, along State Route 530
A wide aerial view shows the extensive damage of the landslide after taking out a chunk of earth from the side of the hill facing the Stillaguamish River, and down into the State Route 530, on the left, between the cities of Arlington and Darrington
Massive: The mudslide is estimated to be a mile long
Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said ‘we have rescuers on the ground on both sides of the slide who are going to be there all night, we're combing through the debris field on the ground trying to rescue people.’
Air operations to aid rescuers were suspended, but authorities said they would resume at first light on Sunday. Ireton also said the number of destroyed homes was expected to increase when crews had more time to assess the scene.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Snohomish County through Sunday afternoon.
People who live in the North Fork's flood plain, from the small communities of Oso to Stanwood, were urged to flee to higher ground.
Forecasters warned that some flooding was also possible north of the slide area. The Weather Service said ‘catastrophic flooding’ was unlikely downstream, but authorities were taking no chances and urged people to leave.
Pouring: Heavy rain over this past week likely contributed to the mudslide
Mystery: It's unclear how many people are inside the house and their conditions
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also proclaimed a state of emergency.
Bart Treece, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said he didn't know how long the two-lane rural road will be closed because of the slide. Drivers were advised to find another way to get between Darrington and Arlington, he said.
Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground water saturation from recent heavy rainfall.
John Pennington from the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management said the area has a history of unstable land. He said a slide also happened there in 2006.
Pennington said the most recent incident happened without warning.
‘This slide came out of nowhere,’ he said.
Neighbors gather at the Oso Fire Department to look for updates about the fatal mudslide that washed over homes and over Highway 530 east of Oso, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014
Neighbors gather at the Oso Fire Department looking for updates about the mudslide that washed over homes and over Highway 530 east of Oso, Wash., Saturday, March 22, 2014
Geologists warned about Washington landslide 15 years ago: Before and after shots clearly show the lethal geography that has worried experts since 1999 as DOZENS are feared dead
The impacted area: A massive mudslide occurred in rural Snohomish County about 55 miles north of Seattle, Washington state, on Saturday morning
Hit like a bulldozer: Houses and other structures are shown flooded by the backed-up Stillaguamish River up-river from the massive mudslide that killed at least eight people on Saturday and left dozens missing
The collapse swamped a fifth of the town, crushing more than 100 homes and leaving dozens of school pupils unaccounted for
In a report filed with the US Army Corps of Engineers, geologists warned of 'the potential for a large catastrophic failure' 15 years ago.
'We've known it would happen at some point, we just didn't know when,' co-author Daniel Miller told The Seattle Times.
Geological reports warning the hill is in imminent danger of collapse date back to the 1950s.
But the alerts, issued by experts every ten years, went unnoticed.
And in a press conference following Saturday's slide, the head of Snohomish County's Department of Emergency Management, John Pennington, said 'it was considered very safe'.
Mr Miller said he was shocked to see houses being built around the danger zone weeks after a slide in 2006.
The slide, which was thought to be caused by heavy rain, formed a new channel along the cliff-side, but carpenters immediately set to work erecting homes along it.
'Frankly I was shocked that the county permitted any building from across the river,' Mr Miller told the paper.
Today, half a week after the latest slide, rescue workers are using chain saws and their bare hands to dig through the mangled wreckage, as an increasing number of residents report missing loved-ones.
And further rain over the next few days is expected to hamper recovery efforts.
On Monday morning the death toll stood at eight, but last night a further six bodies were found.
The tragic discovery was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive from the muck that engulfed dozens of homes.
Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said the number of people unaccounted for had ballooned from 18 to 176 - and The County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters that 'the situation is very grim' - but emphasized that many of those names could be duplicates.
Scarred: An aerial view shows a huge volume of earth missing from the side of a hill facing Stillaguamish River
Trees lie flat across the ground between Darrington and Arlington, Washington, after the disaster
The river's banks have collapsed and water is flooding after mud piled in from a hillside on Saturday, and remains the same today
This aerial shot was taken by Governor Jay Inslee as he helicoptered around the site while rescue workers search for survivors
What was once a uniformed line of river and street along the hillside is now a mess of mud and water
More than 100 homes were affected by the collapse of the hill and the overflowing river which now separates the town and covers one mile
'We're holding out hope, but keep in mind we've not found anybody alive on this pile since Saturday,' he said.
'The 176, I believe very strongly is not a number we're going to see in fatalities. I believe it's going to drop dramatically,' he said.
The list of the 176 missing is in some instances is very vague, said Pennington.
'In some cases, that list is very detailed. It's 'John, who has brown hair, blue eyes and lived in this particular neighborhood.' Pennington said.
'In a lot of cases, it's a name like Frank, 'I met him once. I think he lived over there.'
However, while they do not expect the death toll to match the number of missing, they are concerned that many people were home when the slide struck at 11am on Saturday with such power it was described as being like a 'bulldozer'.
Several dozen homes were believed to have sustained some damage from the slide, Pennington told reporters at a command post in the nearby town of Arlington.
Search: From a helicopter, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary surveys the wreckage of homes destroyed in Saturday's mudslide near Oso, Washington as the search for survivors grew on Monday to include scores of people who were still unaccounted for
Grim: The death toll so far stood at eight on Monday morning, but the tragic discovery of six bodies on Monday evening was announced via Twitter hours after emergency management officials expressed doubt anyone else would be plucked alive
Devastation: Search and rescue personnel continue working the area of Saturday's mudslide, at Oso, Washington
Apocalyptic: Steve Skaglund walks across the rubble on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide
Tribute: A bouquet of flowers left for victims sits perched on the seat of an abandoned vehicle in the wreckage of homes destroyed by Saturday's mudslide, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Oso, Washington
Here rescue workers are seen removing a body from the wreckage of homes destroyed by a mudslide near Oso
This is one of the six bodies found after emergency services expressed doubt over their ability to find the missing people
The National Guard is expected to arrive on Tuesday morning to aid the search of the leveled homes and cars across the 1-mile square area hit.
Tragic stories from relatives of those missing are already emerging.
Jonielle Spillers, a nursing assistant fears that she may have lost three of her four children and her husband - while her youngest boy managed to barely escape the slide.
Her son Jovon Mangual, his half-sisters Kaylee Spillers, 5, Brooke Spillers, 2 and Jonielle's husband Billy Spillers are all missing.
According to Jovon's father, Jose Mangual, a staff sergeant in the US Army, the Spillers moved from Seattle to Oso two years ago.
He said that he had spoken to Jovon's 4-year-old half-brother Jacob Spillers who described the terrifying scene when the landslide struck.
According to Jacob, Billy Spillers - a chief petty officer in the Navy - was watching television with the three missing children when the land gave way.
Jacob said that he was on the second floor of the house and manged somehow to get away.
On her Facebook profile, Jonielle thanked everyone for their support and said she was 'not giving up and I know they will find my babies and husband....please pray for us.'
Unrecognizable: Mudflows forver changed the landscape of this area one hour north of Seattle
Gone: The entire side of this small mountain was washed away
Frustrations were growing as family members and neighbors waited for official word on the missing and the dead. Elaine Young and her neighbors uncovered several bodies Sunday and had to contact authorities to get them removed.
VOICES CALLING OUT: FRANTIC SEARCH FOR SURVIVORS
Late on Saturday, rescuers heard people yelling for help but were unable to reach anyone. The soupy, quicksand-like mud was so thick and deep that searchers had to turn back. When crews were able to get back onto the debris field Sunday, they found only more bodies. 'We didn't see or hear any signs of life,' Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Sunday evening.
They also found a chocolate Labrador named Buddy alive, and helped pull the dog from the rubble, leading her to wonder if other survivors could be out there, desperate for help.
'If we found a dog alive yesterday afternoon that we cut out of a part of a house, doesn't that seem that maybe somebody could be stuck up under part of a house and be alive too?' asked Young, whose home survived the slide but was on the edge of the devastation.
Nichole Webb Rivera told the Seattle Times she frantically called and texted her parents, her daughter and her daughter’s fiance when the massive hillside collapsed.
Rivera said her parents, Thom and Marcy Satterlee, lived near the center of the slide, and she doesn’t believe they made it out.
She said her 20-year-old daughter, Delaney Webb, and Webb’s fiance were visiting the older couple at the time.
Rivera lives in Houston but has traveled to Washington following the slide. She said Monday after visiting the area: 'We’ve lost four.'
Ron Thompson, whose home was destroyed, stopped by the evacuation shelter at Post Middle School in Arlington to find out if his friends turned up alive. 'We lost a lot of good kids. I don’t know what else to tell you. It hurts,’ he said before driving away.
Also among the missing was a group of girls who had been having a slumber party, according to a resident interviewed by The Seattle Times.
Retired firefighter Gail Moffett, who lives in Oso, said she knows about 25 people who are missing, including entire families with young children.
'It's safe to say I'll know everyone affected or who they are,' Moffett said. 'There's so much pain going on in the community right now.'
Among the injured were a mother and her baby. Amanda Skorjanc, 25, was in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.
Her son, 22-week-old Duke Suddarth, remained in critical condition and was improving, Gregg said. Three other men were in serious condition.
More than 100 properties in all were hit by the cascading mud, 49 of which had a house, cabin or mobile home on them. At least 25 of those homes were believed to have been occupied year round, and 10 others were part-time or vacation homes, Pennington said.
The search for victims resumed under partly cloudy skies on Monday after treacherous quicksand-like conditions forced rescue workers to suspend their efforts at dusk on Sunday. Some workers, mired in mud up to their armpits, had to be dragged to safety.
Members of a search team were forced to retreat again from the western edge of the slide area after movement was detected along a 1,500-foot (460-meter) stretch of earth, said Rebecca Hover, a spokeswoman for the county executive's office.
The first eight bodies were found by Sunday evening in the square-mile (2.6 square km) disaster zone of tangled debris, rocks, trees and mud, a sheriff's spokesman said. The late afternoon Twitter bulletin on Monday said the remains of six more victims had also been found.
Staggering loss: A flag sits on top of what was Cory Kuntz and his family's home. The family was at a baseball game when the river of mud swept through the area and leveled their home
Debris: Water and mud back up on the east side of Saturday's fatal mudslide near Oso, in Washington
Search operation: A rescue helicopter flies above the area on Sunday surveying the damage and looking for survivors or bodies
Here to help: This search helicopter looks for bodies - alive or dead - among the ruins of the catastrophic mudflow
All that's left: A Little League picture frame caked with mud sits outside after flooding caused the mudslides
Officer Aaron Snell, a spokesman for the police department in nearby Everett, said all 14 bodies had been recovered. Another eight people were injured in the landslide.
Authorities on Monday also reported a sharp jump in the number of people listed as unaccounted for in the chaos after the disaster, heightening fears the casualty toll could climb even higher.
'The number is, I think no question, going to decline dramatically. But it is a number that we want to just go ahead and disclose and say, 'That's what we're working with,'' Pennington said.
The potential number of victims in harm's way was higher on a Saturday, with many people at home, than on a weekday when more residents would have been at work or school, Pennington said. He said search teams were also trying to account for an unspecified number of construction workers who were in the area and motorists who were driving by at the time.
But authorities were hoping many of those reported as missing would turn out to be survivors who were either double-counted or slow in alerting loved ones and local officials as to their whereabouts.
The slide in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains along the Stillaguamish River piled mud, boulders and rubble up to 15 feet deep in some places.
It blocked the flow of the river, backing up water behind a natural dam left in the stream's channel that caused flooding of seven homes upstream of the slide, Pennington said.
'The bad news is that the water continues to rise and homes are inundated up to the eaves in many cases,' he said. 'If there is a silver lining in that event ... it is that it is a slow, methodical rise. You can see the danger.'
Destruction: A demolished house sits in the mud on Highway 530 on Sunday, a day after a giant landslide occurred near Oso, in Washington
Brian Anderson, left, and Coby Young search through the wreckage of a home belonging to the Kuntz family - who escaped certain doom while attending a Saturday morning baseball game
Authorities said as the volume and pressure of water behind the dam continued to build, there was a chance that additional downstream flooding and mud flows could be unleashed.
Water from the river was trickling through the side of the debris plug and creating a new stream channel, prompting authorities to post observation teams downstream to watch for signs of danger, state emergency management officials said.
Hots said Monday's search for victims would incorporate the use of aircraft, teams with search dogs and special electronic equipment.
'Also, the Washington State Department of Transportation is going to have heavy equipment out there to clear mud out of the way so that we can continue to search those areas,' he said.
Authorities believe Saturday's slide was caused by recent heavy rains that made the terrain unstable.
From the beginning, rescue crews on the ground have faced dangerous and unpredictable conditions as they navigated quicksand-like mud that was 15 feet deep in some places. Some who went in got caught up to their armpits in the thick, sticky sludge.
From another angle: An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River and the extensive damage from the landslide, along State Route 530 between the cities of Arlington and Darrington
The threat of potential flash floods or another landslide also loomed over rescuers. On Monday, some crews had to pull back because of concern that a hillside could shift.
The spirits of search-and-rescue teams were raised late Saturday when they heard cries for help from the flotsam of trees, dirt and shattered wood. But no one else has been found alive.
The slide blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which is continuing to back up, officials said. Authorities said Monday at least seven homes are now flooded, and more flooding is expected.
Frequent, heavy rain and steep geography make the area prone to landslides. Less than a decade ago, another slide hit in the same general area.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene as 'a square mile of total devastation' after flyingover the disaster area Sunday. He assured families that everything was being done to find their missing loved ones.
Update: Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots speaks to the media in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, following the massive mudslide which wiped out homes and killed at least eight
On Monday, President Barack Obama declared an emergency, ordering federal aid for the struggling community and federal agencies to coordinate relief efforts.
Barbara Welsh went to Monday's news briefing in Arlington to get more information. She said she has not seen her husband, William Welsh, since Saturday, when he went to help someone in Oso with a water tank.
Bruce Blacker, who lives just west of the slide, doesn't know the whereabouts of six neighbors.
'It's a very close-knit community,' Blacker said as he waited at an Arlington roadblock before troopers let him through.
Smashed: A mudslide carried a house with people inside across a road in rural Snohomish County on Saturday
Splintered: One of the homes brought down by the fatal mudslide
A newly released satellite image shows the shocking scale of destruction caused by the Washington state landslide that struck the small town of Oso on March 22.
Google Earth had been trying to get a clear view of the landslide since it first happened, but overcast skies prevented a clear view until March 31.
The pool of sludge measuring about 300 acres, which wiped out the mountainside community when it struck on a Saturday morning, stands out against the greenery of the surviving trees.
Scroll down for video
Widespread: The scale of the devastating Oso mudslide can be seen from this satellite image taken on Monday
Before: A satellite image shows the mountainside area of Oso before the deadly mudslide struck it on March 22
About 500 rescue workers are still sifting through the debris, in some places 75ft high, as they search for 22 people who are still listed as missing.
Snohomish County has put the current death toll at 27, and 19 of the victims have since been identified. All died from multiple blunt-force trauma, Live Science reported.
'This disaster is quickly becoming one of the worst in state history,' Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. The landslide was triggered when the waterlogged hillside collapsed at the Stillaguamish river, which is about 50 miles from Seattle.
Among the devastation and huge loss of life, there have been a few remarkable stories of survival, like that of Duke Saddarth, a 22-week-old baby who was plucked from the sludge by a driver who was passing as the landslide hit.
Selfless act: Kody Wesson carries 22-month-old Duke Saddarth to safety moments after the landslide hit
Kody Wesson ignored state troopers' advice to stay away, and managed to pull the baby and his mother Amanda Skorjanc to safety.
'You gotta help 'em. How can you not? What are you supposed to do, you can't just stand there and watch,' Mr Wesson told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Three men rescued from the landslide are still in hospital. A 37-year-old is in serious condition in intensive care. An 81-year-old in serious condition in intensive care. And a 58-year-old is in satisfactory condition.
The family of the mother and baby released a statement through the hospital, saying: 'We are so grateful to all the responders who jeopardized their safety in order to pull Duke and Amanda out of the debris.
'Words alone cannot tell you how thankful we are. Our hearts and support continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.'
The scale of the disaster is so huge that the sniffer dogs that have been essential to rescue efforts had to take a break after several long days of working through the cold mud in nearly nonstop rain.
Tribute: A flag flies at half-mast on the flattened landscape where the mudslide struck
Overwhelmed: The wall of mud and sludge carved out a wide path on this Washington hillside in Oso
'The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs,' Kris Rietmann, lead spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern portion of the slide, said.
If the dogs become worn out they lose their ability to locate human scent among the mud. Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which only arrived recently, will continue to work at the scene while the others take a two-day break.
This weekend, crews completed a makeshift road that will link one side of the debris field to the other, significantly easing the recovery operation. They have also been working to clear mud and debris from the highway.
Searchers have had to contend with treacherous conditions. The search area has septic tanks, gasoline, propane tanks and other hazards. When rescuers and search dogs leave, they have to be hosed off by hazardous materials crews stationed at the edges of the debris field.
Tiring work: Search and rescue dogs have been given a break after days of sifting through debris in the rain
Huge task: Rescue workers search through the mud and debris caused by the March 22 disaster
More than one mile of rain-soaked hillside collapsed onto the remote town, which is just five square miles in size, at 11am on Saturday.
Three days on, hundreds of rescue workers with dogs, aircraft and sonar equipment remain scouring the wreckage for survivors in the slide which has swamped a fifth of Oso's land.
But amidst the devastation, experts have revealed they predicted this would happen in 1999.
Set side by side, the two images show how the one-mile stretch of land looked before the disaster this weekend which saw more than 176 go missing and killed 14
Sheer scale: The shocking difference caused by the massive mudslide is shown in these before and after aerial photos
The main road, State Route 530, is now completely cut off as it is submerged in water. Rescue teams have parked as close to the edge as possible to look for survivors
Huge numbers: Authorities say they still don't know how many people remain missing from a deadly Washington state mudslide. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said late Monday that officials were working off a potential list of 176 people, but he stressed that authorities believed that included many duplicate names
Staggering: At least 14 people have died. Officials say they are still culling through multiple reports of people who may have lived or worked in the area. The slide smashed through a small community about 55 miles north of Seattle on Saturday morning
Other family members of the missing such as Pete Bellomo, of Bellevue spent the day trying to find out any information on his daughter Shelley and her partner Jerry Logan.
He did not hold out hope they would be found alive.
'No, no, I don’t think there’s any chance of that ... but I haven’t been informed of anything yet,' he said to the Seattle Times.
Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home when the landslide piled into his house and is missing according to his daughter Pam Keller.
Caroline Neal hopes her missing father, Steven, 52, will still be rescued. He's a plumber who was on a service call when the land gave way.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF THE ENORMOUS LANDSLIDE:
Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management officials say the area has a history of unstable land. A slide also happened there in 2006. Authorities believe the latest slide was caused by recent heavy rainfall that saturated and destabilized the ground. David Montgomery, an earth and space sciences professor at the University of Washington, said these deep-seated slides tend to occur from rainfall over months or seasons. 'This was a big deep one, a giant slump,' he said.
'My dad is a quick thinker, and he is someone who takes action in an emergency,' Neal told CNN affiliate KING. 'If he had any warning at all, we just have to think he is somewhere and he's safe and they just can't reach him right now.
One retired lumber mill worker, Reed Miller, told Seattle television station KOMO-TV that his riverfront house was demolished by the slide, and that his 47-year-old son, Joseph. with whom he shared the home, was probably swept away with it.
'Well, he was at home. As far as I know he's gone,' said Miller, who was at a grocery store in town at the time. 'There's no official (word) that he's been found yet, but he could be buried. I just don't know.'
Cory Kuntz and several volunteers worked Monday with chain saws to cut through the roof of his uncle's house, which was swept about 150 yards from its previous location. Kuntz said his aunt, Linda McPherson, was killed. He and the others pulled out files, his aunt's wallet and a box filled with pictures and slides.
McPherson was branch manager of the Darrington library and served for about 15 years on the local school board.
Her husband Gary McPherson was injured in the landslide too but survived.
'When you look at it, you just kind of go in shock, and you kind of go numb,' he said, adding that there were more people out helping Sunday. On Monday, they couldn't get through roadblocks.
'They are all eager to get down here, but unfortunately they can't. It just shows how tight this community is,' he said.
Doug Reuwsaat, who grew up in the area and was also helping in the search, said authorities had told people to stay away.
'We're related to a lot of these people from around here. So that's why we're here,' he said.
Among those who are missing are the wife and granddaughter of Oso firefighter Seth Jeffereds.
He and his stepdaughter were out collecting errands when the landslide began according to him.
Christina Jeffereds, 45, was at home babysitting 4-month old Sanoah Huestis when the earth began to move.
Also, Barbara Welsh, who spoke to reporters at a news briefing on Monday said that she hadn't seen her husband, William Welsh since Saturday.