Search suspended tickets, more missing after landslide, shooting naval base.
The avalanche swept away everything in the village of Bear, northwest of Seattle. Four days after the tragedy, time destroys the hopes of rescuers. There are still over 170 missing persons.
On Saturday morning (local time), an avalanche of dirt and mud buried 49 houses in a few seconds the small town of Bear, where about 200 people live and which is 60 kilometers (about 38 miles) northwest of Seattle, one the main urban centers. At least 14 people died and 178 are missing.
The desperation of the neighbors is so great that many of them have taken to the disaster area in search of their loved ones, while authorities are asked to stay away from the area because of the danger it represents.
“They’re going there completely blind,” said Randy Dobbins, director of local Fire Operations. “We appreciate what they are trying to do. But, with our mind, we must do this correctly, or risk losing more people. Please stay out of this,” he asked in a statement to local media in Washington State.
David Norman, a geologist with the Department of Natural Resources of the State of Washington who traveled to the disaster zone said in a press conference: “This is one of the largest landslides ever seen.”
“In some areas it is like quicksand,” said Travis Hots, head of the Department of Snohomish County Fire. “One of the rescuers who are there said to me, Chief, sometimes it takes five minutes to walk 40 or 50 feet,” he told The Seattle Times.
Firefighters and rescuers kept rescue operations, but as time goes recognize that the hopes of finding survivors fade. Since Saturday have not rescued anyone alive from the mass of mud that covered everything. Only one dog was rescued from the ruins.
Quinton Kuntz and his family roamed what was left of their home when the cry of their pet, Buddy, surprised. Do not expect to find anything alive in the meantime horror. But Buddy, a chocolate lab, and cried resisitió by their owners that took him from the rubble.
Quinton could not hold back the tears and have not recovered although the cat family, have been campaigning to help other neighbors find their pets. Yesterday they found the cat of her aunt. The woman died in the mudslide.
“Most of us do not believe in these communities are going to find anyone alive,” acknowledged crudely John Pennington, Director of Emergency Management Snohomish County. But he said: “I am a man of faith and I believe in miracles.”