The bodies of two more people killed in the massive mudslide in Washington have been recovered by authorities, bringing the death toll to 16.
The officials said they thought they had located eight more bodies under the mud but were unable to retrieve them.
As many as 176 people remain unaccounted for.
A 177ft wall of mud buried the town of Oso, north of Seattle, on Saturday. Officials said the search would resume at first light.
The bodies of two more people killed in the massive mudslide in Washington have been recovered by authorities, bringing the death toll to 16 (photo NBC News)
“We haven’t lost hope that there’s a possibility that we could find somebody alive,” local fire chief Travis Hots told reporters on Tuesday night.
“We are coming to the realization that that may not be a possibility – but we are going full steam ahead.
“We are going at this hard to get everybody that’s out there that’s missing”
The sudden, catastrophic mudslide on Saturday destroyed about 30 houses, temporarily damming a river and leaving a square-mile field of muck and debris in its wake.
Survivors were last pulled alive from the mud on Saturday.
But as many as 200 search-and-rescue workers at a time – aided by dogs, helicopters, laser imaging and excavation equipment – have not let up since, pausing only when darkness made the work too dangerous, officials said.
The search-and-rescue operation was further complicated on Tuesday by heavy rain, Travis Hots said, as the workers were forced to contend with slippery mud, upturned nails, wreckage, and deep pits of water.
Washington authorities have found six more bodies after Saturday’s huge landslide, bringing the number known to have been killed to 14, say police.
Officials now say as many as 176 people may remain unaccounted for after the 177ft wall of mud hit near the town of Oso, north of Seattle.
Search crews have worked day and night, using helicopters and laser imaging.
Officials admit they have little hope of finding survivors.
President Barack Obama has declared an emergency in Washington State and ordered federal authorities to co-ordinate the disaster relief effort.
Speaking earlier after surveying the area from the air, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said it was “devastation beyond imagination”.
Jay Inslee said the slide “basically cut a mountain in two” and deposited it on the town below. Nothing in the path of the slide was still standing.
“It’s that absolute devastation that causes us all real pain,” he said.
Family members and volunteers were using chainsaws and their bare hands to shift the wreckage and try to find those missing.
Washington authorities have found six more bodies after Saturday’s huge landslide
At a news conference on Monday evening, Snohomish County emergency management director John Pennington said the official list of the missing stood at 176.
But he said he did not think the final death toll would be so high, because some of those listed as unaccounted for would be found to be alive, and other names would prove to be duplicates.
But he said authorities no longer expected to find survivors in the debris.
“We as a community, we as a county, are beginning to realize that we are moving toward a recovery operation,” John Pennington said.
“There is an awful lot of grieving.”
The landslide left behind a cliff known as a head scarp 600ft high, Washington state geologist Dave Norman told reporters on Monday afternoon.
Authorities have continued their search-and-rescue operations amid a tangled, water-logged field of mud and debris, using rescue dogs, aerial photography and laser imaging to help the search.
Officials said the conditions were treacherous, and the threat of further landslides on Monday forced the authorities to pull rescue workers back from the scene briefly until scientists determined there was no further risk.
More than 30 homes were destroyed and more than half the town of Oso is missing – a recent census put its population at 180.
The landslide cut off the city of Darrington and clogged the north fork of the Stillaguamish River.
The death toll of Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico now stands at 110, the interior minister says.
Another 68 are still missing, believed dead, after a landslide destroyed the village of La Pintada in western Guerrero state.
President Enrique Pena Nieto asked Congress to increase the federal budget in light of the emergency.
Officials are still trying to evaluate the total extent of the damage.
“We are confronting rainfall that has practically been the most extensive in the history of the entire national territory,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Sunday.
“Today we can already anticipate that due to the damages that we have seen, our [emergency] funds are insufficient.”
Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said work was under way to establish which areas were worst affected by Tropical Storm Manuel which hit Mexico’s western coast, and Ingrid, which made landfall on its eastern coast last week.
Twenty-four out of Mexico’s 31 states have been affected by the twin storms.
“There’s no point in the government offering us kind words and nothing else,” Alicia Sanchez told the Associated Press news agency.
The death toll of Tropical Storms Manuel and Ingrid in Mexico now stands at 110
“They’ve made us promises but I don’t think they’ll keep them,” the Acapulco resident said.
Acapulco’s international airport re-opened for commercial flights on Sunday, a week after it had to close due to power cuts and flooding.
Some 20,000 people are still living in shelters in the surrounding state of Guerrero.
Rescue workers continue to search the rubble and mud for bodies of those buried in a landslide in La Pintada, where some 40 homes were swept away by mud from a hillside.
Touring the site of the disaster on Saturday, President Enrique Pena Nieto said there was little hope of finding anyone alive.
Lt Carlos Alberto Mendoza, who is leading the team of soldiers searching La Pintada, said it was the most daunting task he had faced in more than two decades of service.
“They are doing unbelievable work, hours and hours for just one body,” he said of his team of 16 soldiers.
“No matter how hard the day is, they never get tired of working,” he added.
Continuing rainfall is putting the rescue workers at risk of renewed landslides.
Five police officers died on Thursday when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed into a hillside on its way to La Pintada.
A total of 1.2 million people were affected when Tropical Storm Manuel made landfall on 15 September on Mexico’s south-western coastline.
More than 25,000 tourists had to be airlifted out of Acapulco after the beach resort was cut off.
Just 24 hours after Manuel had made landfall, Tropical Storm Ingrid hit the country’s Gulf coast, causing destruction in Verazcruz and Tamaulipas.
After temporarily weakening, Manuel regained strength and hit Mexico’s north-western coast with hurricane-strength winds and more rain on Thursday.
Forecasters say rains will continue to fall on the Gulf Coast of Mexico and the country’s interior until Tuesday.
The FBI launches a “potential terrorism inquiry” after two explosions hit Boston Marathon finishing line leaving three people dead and at least 140 injured.
Boston police say officers are working around the clock and all leave has been cancelled.
At least 17 people are critically wounded, officials say, and the injuries include several amputations.
One of the dead was an eight-year-old boy, US media said.
In a televised address, President Barack Obama vowed to bring those behind the attack to justice.
“We will find out who did this. We’ll find out why they did this,” the president said.
“Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice.”
Although President Barack Obama did not use the word “terrorism”, a White House official later said: “Any event with multiple explosive devices – as this appears to be – is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror.”
The FBI launches a “potential terrorism inquiry” after two explosions hit Boston Marathon finishing line leaving three people dead and at least 140 injured
The first explosion came at about 14:50 local time on the north side of Boylston Street, about two hours after the winners crossed the line.
There was initial confusion and panic. Some runners fell to the floor while police and bystanders ran to help those caught in the blast.
Then seconds later, another explosion ripped into the crowd further away from the finishing line, between 50 and 100 metres from the first blast.
TV footage showed bloodied runners and spectators being treated at the scene and the road strewn with debris. Rescuers tore down temporary fencing to reach the casualties.
Medical officials speak of at least 140 injured, with injuries including severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, cuts and bruises.
At an initial news conference, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said authorities had received “no specific intelligence that anything was going to happen”.
He urged people to stay indoors and not congregate in large groups.
At a second news conference he said the death toll now stood at three. He said that no suspects were in custody.
A search thought to be related to the inquiry was under way at a flat in a Boston suburb, Boston media reported.
Police said a search warrant was issued on Monday in the Revere district but provided no further details.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said Boston would be “open” on Tuesday but that there would be “a heightened law enforcement presence”.
“There will be random checks of backpacks and other parcels. We are also asking that everyone be on a state of heightened vigilance,” he said.
FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers also appeared, saying that the inquiry involved city, state and federal officials, but refusing to give any details of the investigation.
Details of the victims have also not been revealed, however an 8-year-old boy is said to be among the dead. Quoting a family friend, Associated Press said the boy’s mother and sister were also injured as they waited for his father to finish the race.
Officers have already begun poring over video and photographs from the marathon.
Two other unexploded devices were reported to have been found near the end of the race but were safely defused.
State police officer Roupen Bastajian had just finished the race when he heard the blasts.
“I started running toward the blast and there were people all over the floor,” he said.
“We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”
A doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital said “several amputations” had been performed there.
As a massive security operation swung into operation, the Federal Aviation Administration barred low-flying aircraft from within 3.5 miles of the site.
Key sites in Washington DC and New York have also seen security tightened.
Officials in Washington said no group or individual had so far said they carried out the attack.
Shortly after the blasts, a fire broke out at Boston’s JFK Library a few miles away from the explosions.
Police said the blaze might have been caused by an incendiary device but it is unclear whether it is related to the explosions.
The annual Boston Marathon this year had a field of about 23,000 runners and was watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Boston Marathon is held on Patriots Day, a Massachusetts state holiday which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution in 1775.
Meanwhile British police are reviewing security plans for Sunday’s London Marathon, the next major international marathon, following events in Boston.
The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was beginning to emerge as the death toll hit 50 and damage was expected to reach $50 billion.
As Frankestorm passed over the region, startling before-and-after pictures revealed what was left of the East Coast.
At first glance, New Jersey’s Mantoloking Bridge appeared to be completely different highways – until it becomes clear that just one solitary house was left standing.
Row after row of Atlantic vacation homes on the horizon were wiped out by the 900-mile storm following surging waters and winds which reached peaks of 95 mph.
The colossal scale of the devastation was mounting today as the death toll continued to rise – 50 people were dead in the wake of the storm but that number was expected to grow as rescue missions and clear-up continued.
The cost was originally estimated at around $20 billion but financial forecasters now expected it somewhere between $30 and $50 billion of damage.
Sandy will likely be among the ten costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. It would still be far below the worst – Hurricane Katrina, which cost $108 billion in 2005.
Insured losses were expected to reach up to $15 billion, according to NBC, before the additional toll of the damage done to uninsured buildings and infrastructure such as roads, bridges and transport systems.
However, experts said a slightly slower economy in the coming weeks will likely be matched by reconstruction and repairs that will contribute to growth over time.
Some of those losses won’t be easily made up. Restaurants that lose two or three days of business, for example, won’t necessarily experience a rebound later. And money spent to repair a home may lead to less spending elsewhere.
The storm cut power to more than eight million homes and shut down 70% of East Coast oil refineries. It inflicted worse-than-expected damage in the New York metro area – which produces about 10% of economic output in the U.S.
President Barack Obama, who will visit New Jersey tomorrow, declared the storm as a “major disaster” as submerged streets were littered with debris and downed power lines, homes were razed and a tanker had washed ashore.
Mantoloking Bridge leads to the Jersey Shore village of Brick Township, home to more than 76,100 people. Dozens of people have been rescued from roofs of properties where areas were flooded with at least 6 ft of seawater.
The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy was beginning to emerge as the death toll hit 50 and damage was expected to reach $50 billion
Barack Obama will join New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Wednesday for a helicopter tour of the ravaged state.
At press conference on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. EST Governor Chris Christie said: “It was an overwhelming afternoon for me – very emotional for a boy who was brought up in this state.”
He pledged to rebuild the Jersey Shore but said that a lot of it had been washed into the sea. Chris Christie confirmed that six had died in the state and told residents of the Garden State to “hang in”. He added that he didn’t want to guess the cost of the damage but believed it would run into billions.
New Jersey’s barrier islands were hit directly as Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Monday night and were left with colossal damage due to their exposed location on the open ocean.
The gambling mecca of Atlantic City was battered by the storm with the historic boardwalk left in splinters after it was smashed by waves and torn up by the wind. The city’s mayor Lorenzo Langford was denounced by Governor Chris Christie after he advised people not to evacuate and 500 had remained in flimsy shelters, only a block from the beach.
Chris Christie said on Monday that the decision was “stupid and selfish” because the precarious location of Atlantic City would place rescue workers in danger.
He said: “I feel badly for the folks in Atlantic City who listened to him and sheltered in Atlantic City, and I guess my anger has turned to sympathy for those folks, and we’re in the midst now of trying to go in and save them.”
The Jersey Shore appeared completely flattened in the before-and-after shots. And in Hoboken, an entire fleet of New York city’s iconic yellow cabs were almost entirely submerged by flood waters.
Around 120 miles to the south-west, New York City had its own pictorial record of the devastation.
A ferocious fire in Breezy Point, Queens, destroyed 111 homes. The New York Fire Department battled to save houses in a neighborhood that is home to hundreds of their fellow firefighters, plunging into neck-deep water and fighting winds to reach the raging inferno.
In Dumbo, Brooklyn, the painstakingly restored Jane’s Carousel, which is a popular tourist attraction in the area, was badly damaged by flood waters and cut off on its own little island in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, roared ashore with fierce winds and heavy rain on Monday at 8:00 p.m. EST and forced evacuations, shut down transport and interrupted the presidential campaign.
New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air. The superstorm overflowed the city’s waterfront, flooded the financial district, subway tunnels and cut power to hundreds of thousands. Power is expected to be fully restored in Manhattan and Brooklyn within four days.
The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading on Wednesday after being shut down for two days.
Most homeowners who suffered losses from flooding won’t be able to benefit from their insurance policies.
Standard homeowner policies don’t cover flood damage, and few homeowners have flood insurance.
But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they will offer help to borrowers whose homes were damaged or destroyed, who live in designated disaster areas and whose loans the mortgage giants own or guarantee.
Among other steps, mortgage servicers will be allowed to reduce the monthly payments of affected homeowners or require no payments from them temporarily.