News World Missing from deadly US landslide ‘down to 30’

Missing from deadly US landslide ‘down to 30’

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The number of people listed as missing from a monster US landslide has dropped from 90 to 30, while the confirmed death toll rose by one to 18, an official says.

Another body has been located but not formally identified, said Jason Biermann of the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management, a week after a wall of mud and debris crashed down onto the town of Oso in the state of Washington.

At least eight other bodies are believed to have been found earlier in the week, making the expected death toll from the tragedy at least 27.

A total of 49 dwellings in the rural town were hit by the 2.5-square-kilometre rush of mud, rocks and trees, which also destroyed part of a highway about 95km northeast of Seattle.

Earlier on Saturday, rescue workers and people across the northwestern US state of Washington observed a moment’s silence at 10:37am, exactly a week after the landslide struck.

Officials are only including victims in the confirmed toll if they have been recovered and formally identified by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Biermann said the task of counting fatalities was complicated because of the state of human remains left by a landslide that has been described as a giant blender.

“Often they are making partial recoveries,” he told reporters, apparently referring to rescuers not finding whole bodies.

More than 200 rescue workers have been working in tough conditions for seven days. A few survivors were found immediately after the mudslide, but none since last Saturday.