SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington recovered two more bodies on Tuesday, bringing the confirmed death toll from Saturday's landslide to 16.
Meanwhile, some reports said rescuers are believed to have located a further eight bodies in the rural community of Oso, about 88 km northeast of Seattle.
Travis Hots, Snohomish County District 21 Fire Chief, was quoted as saying that 24 of those 176 listed as missing or unaccounted for might have lost their lives.
A 1.6 km-long slide of dirt, trees, rocks and other debris hit Snohomish County on Saturday. As a result, State Route 530 near Oso and the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which was expected to cause flooding in the area, were blocked.
Rescuers facing the threat of flash floods or another landslide have been working through mud up to 4.6 meters deep in the past four days.
The landslide is not the first to hit an inhabited area in Washington state. More than 100 houses were destroyed by a slow-moving landslide in the town of Kelso in the late 1990s.