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Washington Mudslide's Unofficial Death Toll Rises To 24

The unofficial death toll for the Washington mudslide has now risen to 24, and now reports claim experts warned of the catastrophe years ago.
Posted at 8:20 AM, Mar 26, 2014

The death toll in the devastating Washington mudslide continues to climb. By Wednesday morning, the unofficial number of those reported dead had risen to 24. 

"No one in the mudslide's path have been found alive since Saturday. The National Guard, even dogs have joined in on the search, but the mud is so dense it's acting like quicksand." (Via WJLA)

CBS explains two more bodies were recovered Tuesday — bringing the official death toll to 16. Rescuers think they've found eight more, but couldn't retrieve the bodies. This would bring the known death toll to 24, if confirmed. 

The disaster happened last Saturday, and WRC-TV reports there are still 176 unaccounted people.

"There's like a mudslide, and everything's gone. The houses are gone!"

"At this point, crews are using cadaver dogs, small bull dozers and their bare hands." (Via WRC-TV)

Residents in the town of Oso say they are absolutely heartbroken by the tragedy.

 "It's just hard to describe what you feel, it's just heartwrenching. Heartwrenching." (Via KIMA)

"It's a close community, everyone's doing what they can."

"This man's property sits right on the edge of the devastation." (Via KAPP)

But could it have been prevented? According to several reports, scientists predicted a potentially devastating mudslide some 15 years ago. 

The Seattle Times says a report filed in 1999 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned of a "catastrophic failure."

One geomorph­ologist told the paper: "Frankly, I was shocked that the county permitted any building across from the river."

​Rescue workers have requested an on-site mortuary team. They're also helping survivors find temporary housing.