Washington Mudslide Causes “Total Devastation”

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene of a deadly mudslide that killed three people as a square mile of “total devastation” after flying over the disaster area Sunday.

The governor assured families at a news briefing that every endeavor is being explored to find their loved ones.

Eighteen people were unaccounted for a day after a terrifying wall of mud and debris destroyed as many as 30 homes in rural Washington state.

Inslee says “there is a full scale, 100 percent aggressive rescue going on right now.”

People examine debris after a mudslide March 22, 2014 in Snohomish County, Washington. According to reports, 18 people are still missing after a mudslide killed three and injured another eight. The mudslide is said to measure a square mile and 15 feet deep in places. (courtesy: Washington State Patrol via Getty Images)

People examine debris after a mudslide March 22, 2014 in Snohomish County, Washington. According to reports, 18 people are still missing after a mudslide killed three and injured another eight. The mudslide is said to measure a square mile and 15 feet deep in places. (courtesy: Washington State Patrol via Getty Images)

Authorities said that because of the quicksand-like mud, it was too dangerous to send rescuers into the stricken area. Searchers were flying over the area in helicopter looking for signs of life.

The governor urged residents in nearby communities to remain alert to possible flooding.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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