Volunteers Join Search for Survivors after Oso Mudslide - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Volunteers Join Search for Survivors after Oso Mudslide

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Rescue crews are punching through debris and mud on Tuesday to open a road to Darrington, where a mudslide struck on Saturday. Rescue crews are punching through debris and mud on Tuesday to open a road to Darrington, where a mudslide struck on Saturday.

UPDATE/DARRINGTON, WA - Rescue crews are punching through debris and mud on Tuesday to open a road to Darrington, where a mudslide struck on Saturday.  

Snohomish County Emergency Management says a 1.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area on March 10th, centered 100 yards behind the landslide.

Emergency Management Director John Pennington says people living in the area were told there was a high risk of a landslide. Now, rescue cures are pinging cell phones to locate people who may be in the debris. There are open voids in the mud, and rescuers are digging down to them in hopes of finding someone alive.

For now, technicians have restored 911, phone, and internet services to people in Darrington. 
Authorities say they still don't know how many people are missing, but they're working off a list with 176 names. Pennington says they are putting together all the missing persons reports now, and expect this number to go down, or at least change by the end of the day on Tuesday.

So far 14 people have been confirmed dead, but authorities say they expect that number to go up. 

Right now, 156 search crews are looking for possible survivors. 50 members of National Guard Search and Extract have also joined the search, along with 70 people from the Federal Emergency Management Association, some of which are from the Incident Management Assistance Team. 60 civilian volunteers showed up to help with the search on Tuesday morning, along with local law enforcement and emergency services. 

Pennington says at this point, the search operation can not take any more volunteers. He says the rain is posing challenges, and making the area difficult to work in, and that people should avoid the area for their own safety.

The Darrington Fire Department is setting up a registry to keep track of local residents who are searching on their own, in order to closely track them for safety reasons. 

The Red Cross is also helping people effected by the mudslide. Both the Benton-Franklin and Yakima chapters have sent volunteers to the relief effort.

Instead of going to Oso, you can make a donation to help the rescue mission through the Red Cross by clicking here

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DARRINGTON, WA - The Darrington Fire Department says about 60 civilian volunteers showed up Tuesday morning to help with the mudslide search and rescue operation. 

Volunteer spokeswoman Cindy White says the department won't be able to accept any more volunteers Tuesday.

People from near and far came to help the professional searchers look through the debris field from Saturday's mudslide.

White says the fire department is also setting up a registry to keep track of local residents who are searching on their own, in order to closely track all volunteers for their own safety.

President Barack Obama is asking Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state as search operations continue. 

Obama says part of the tight-knit community of Oso, Washington has been lost, but he is commending first responders for acting bravely, and for people who have come forward to help fellow citizens.

Obama spoke with Washington Governor Jay Inslee and signed an emergency declaration for the state. Obama says, quote, "We hope for the best, but we recognize this is a tough situation."

At least 14 people are confirmed dead. Dozens more are thought to be unaccounted for or missing.

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