San Diego Fire-Rescue specialists deployed to Washington mudslid - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

San Diego Fire-Rescue specialists deployed to Washington mudslide

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    18, 108, 176? How many missing from landslide?

    Tuesday, March 25 2014 9:30 AM EDT2014-03-25 13:30:02 GMT
    Three days after a huge landslide destroyed a small community in rural Washington state, authorities still had no firm idea how many people were missing, possibly buried in the tangled  
    Three days after a huge landslide destroyed a small community in rural Washington state, authorities still had no firm idea how many people were missing, possibly buried in the tangled mess of mud, trees and debris. And the potential number keeps fluctuating wildly - first it was 18, then 108, then 176. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four members of a San Diego search-and-rescue team were deployed Tuesday to northwest Washington where a mudslide claimed at least 14 lives.

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to deploy the local fire personnel, along with other specialists from the state's Urban Search and Rescue teams, to assist with the response and recovery efforts, state officials said.

"Our Urban Search and Rescue responders train under unique conditions year-round to be ready to respond to all hazards," San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar said.

State officials said the four local firefighters would join eight from Riverside Fire Department, three Sacramento fire personnel, two from the Los Angeles City Fire Department and one team member from the Orange County Fire Department headed to Arlington, Wash., where rescue operations were already underway.

The fire personnel are among eight 70 or more member Urban Search and Rescue Task Force teams statewide.

The mudslide was brought on by heavy rain saturating the ground and was covering about a square-mile area that includes a state highway, state officials said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the communities impacted by Saturday's debris slide and we are activating these highly-skilled responders into the area for emergency assistance," Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said.

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