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Washington landslide death toll rises to 29 as search continues

The death toll from the Washington state landslide has climbed to 29, increasing by one overnight, officials said Wednesday.

The number of missing after the March 22 slide was put at 20, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office announced.

The identity of the 29th victim was not released.

So far, the agency has formally identified 22 of the 29 victims.

An updated news release from the medical examiner’s office is expected around 4:30 p.m.

At 10:37 a.m. on March 22, a major landslide took place near Oso, about 55 miles north of Seattle.

A portion of a hillside collapsed, sending mud and debris clogging the Stillaguamish River and across state Highway 530, destroying dozens of homes.

Gov. Jay Inslee has asked President Obama for additional federal disaster assistance to repair damaged infrastructure in rural Snohomish County. Inslee’s office said the March 22 landslide, which left a square-mile mound of death and destruction, caused an estimated $32.1 million in damage.

In a letter to President Obama, Inslee asked for federal help in clearing debris and providing measures such as barricades, sandbags and personnel to protect public safety.

“The landslide and upstream flooding it caused brought down death and destruction on these tight-knit communities in Snohomish County,” Inslee said in a written statement. “These are our friends and neighbors, and we’re racing to help repair their roads and other public facilities in the Stillaguamish Valley. If the president acts on this request, we can help do the job even faster.”


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