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Death toll possibly rising in WA mudslide

Arlington, Wash. (AP) -- There are concerns the number of deaths from a mudslide this weekend in Washington state will climb far above the eight people who've been confirmed dead so far.

A 1-square-mile mudslide Saturday swept through part of a former fishing village about 55 miles north of Seattle. The list of people who've been reported missing or who are unaccounted for contains 108 names -- but authorities said that figure will probably decline dramatically.

In addition to those killed, several people were critically injured. About 30 homes were destroyed. The debris is blocking a 1-mile stretch of state highway.

The slide struck at a time of the weekend when most people are at home. Of the 49 structures in the neighborhood hit by the slide, authorities believe at least 25 were occupied full time.

Also possibly among the missing are construction workers coming into the neighborhood and people who were just driving by.

Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground that was made unstable by recent heavy rainfall.

 
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