(OSO, Wash.) — Rescue operations are temporarily suspended following a massive mudslide that killed at least three people in Oso, Wash. on Saturday.
At least seven people were hospitalized and an estimated 30 homes were destroyed.
Fire Chief Travis Hots, with Snohomish County District 21, says the disaster is reminiscent of a volcanic eruption, with trees laying on their side and massive mud debris.
“It’s basically a square mile area about 6,000 feet by 6,000 feet. It’s huge. Several neighborhoods,” Hots said.
Washington’s governor also proclaimed a state of emergency.
On Sunday officials determined the mud was too thick and deep to attempt a rescue in a debris field where voices have been heard screaming.
Hots said, “We suspect that there’s people there but it is far too dangerous to get responders out there on that mud flow. The mud flow is moving.”
According to Hots, aerial operations will determine what’s next.
“We have a high potential to injure or worse as many as responders that we have right here today. We have over a 100 people here on the scene working this.”
Officials say 18 people are still unaccounted for Sunday.
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