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In pictures: Devastated by mudslide, Washington town digs out

Tuesday's rain turned the mud covering Oso, Wash. into a virtual quicksand, placing further strain on rescue efforts

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An aerial view of the Stillaguamish River two days after a wall of mud came cascading down a mountain slope Saturday onto the tiny community of Oso. The mudslide was prompted by heavy rains that have saturated western Washington state in the past two months. The local terrain – glacial sediments, deposited more than 12,000 years ago, with steep bluffs carved by snow-fed rivers – created the setting in which that precipitation could percolate down.

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

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Rescue workers search through mucky rubble on Tuesday with hope dwindling of finding any more survivors from among scores of people still missing.

POOL/REUTERS

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The Oso Community Chapel’s sign speaks for the tiny village that has been devastated by the mudslide: ‘Pray with us for our community.’

MATTHEW RYAN WILLIAMS/NYT

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A child’s bicycle is seen amid the destruction caused by the mudslide. The rural area is located about 90 kilometres northeast of Seattle.

Elaine Thompson/AP

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Andrea Hulme, whose parents are missing after the mudslide, told The New York Times on Tuesday: ‘I’m not capable of saying they are dead right now. They could be dead – but I’m not going to think that until I’m shown they are dead. I just don’t think we should give up hope, because it’s possible they’re out there.‘

MICHAEL HANSON/NYT

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