Nation & World

Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 33

The death toll from a massive mudslide that devastated a rural community in Washington state last month rose by three to 33 on Monday, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said.

A rain-soaked hillside collapsed without warning on March 22 above the north fork of the Stillaguamish River, sending a torrent of mud over the river and across state Highway 530, engulfing some three dozen homes on the outskirts of the tiny community of Oso.

Of the 33 people confirmed dead, 30 have been identified, the medical examiner's office said in a statement. Recovery crews were still searching for another 13 people still unaccounted for as of Sunday evening, but that figure could fluctuate as it has since the day of the disaster.

Recovery efforts have been hampered by rain creating treacherous conditions and raising the risk of further slides and flash floods.

(Reporting by Cynthia Johnston; Writing by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Sofina Mirza-Reid)