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UPDATED: Landslide kills 3; sends several to the hospital

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UPDATED: Authorities in rural Washington worked feverishly Sunday to find survivors after a landslide tore through the area north of Seattle, killing three people and injuring seven. At least 18 people remained unaccounted for, a fire chief said.

“Total devastation. I mean, it’s just unbelievable. It reminds me of what a tornado looks like when it’s touched the ground,” the sheriff said.

WASHINGTON STATE – A landslide in northern Washington state killed two people, destroyed at least six houses and cut off a small town, authorities said Saturday.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said, in addition to those dead, five adults and a 6-month-old child were rescued and sent to local hospitals.

The first reports of the landslide came in around 10:45 a.m. (1:45 p.m. ET) along State Road 530, the sheriff’s office said.

Photos provided by the Washington State Patrol show floodwaters and sprawling debris covering a rural patch of that two-lane road, framed by woodlands and snow-capped mountains.

Groundwater saturation tied to heavy rainfall in the area over the past month was blamed for the landslide, which authorities say measured at least 45 yards wide.