Mile-Wide Mudslide in Washington State Kills at Least 8

The death toll from Saturday's mudslide in Washington state now stands at eight. Eighteen people—a number authorities described on Sunday as "fluid"—remain unaccounted for.

More than 30 homes were destroyed in the one-square-mile mudslide, which struck Snohomish County at about 11 am Saturday. From the Seattle Times:

Those reportedly missing ranged from Oso-area homeowners to repairmen on work assignments and a group of girls at a slumber party.

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.

A 4-month-old baby and her grandmother were also among the missing.

"We have this huge square-mile mudflow that's basically like quicksand," Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots said Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Helicopters and ground crews worked overnight searching for survivors in the mud, which is up to 15 feet deep in some areas.

"The mud was just too thick and deep," Hots said Sunday evening. "We didn't find anybody alive."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee described the scene as one of "total devastation" and declared a state of emergency on Sunday. "There is a full scale, 100 percent aggressive rescue going on right now," Inslee said.

[Image via AP]