Officials now say that 108 people are either missing or unaccounted for in Washington state following a mudslide over the weekend outside of Seattle.
“It’s a soft 108,” Snohomish County emergency management director John Penningtonsaid during a Monday morning press conference, the Associated Press reported.
At least eight bodies have been recovered so far, officials said Monday, and several structures, including around 30 homes, have been decimated as a result of the disaster.
A day earlier, officials said that only 18 people were missing in the one-square-mile impacted by the mudslide. Since then, however, Pennington had added nearly 100 new names to the list after taking into account concerns raised by residents who haven’t heard from loved ones since earlier this week.
According to the AP’s, Pennington said that figure comes after consolidating lists from various sources who have been scrambling to locate people after the natural disaster occurred early Saturday morning at around 11:00 a.m. local time in the town of Oso, around 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Authorities involved in the search now fear that people may been trapped in their homes or cars after the slide occurred and blanketed parts of the town in 15 feet of mud.
“We have not found anyone alive on this pile since Saturday,” Pennington told authorities on Monday.
“The situation is very grim,” added Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots.
“We didn’t see or hear any signs of life out there today,” he told the AP. “It’s very disappointing to all emergency responders on scene.”
According to Hots, the scene resembles a “huge square-mile mudflow that’s basically like quicksand.” Authorities are expected to continue searching until dusk Monday evening.