On March 22, rain-saturated ground led to a massive mudslide at Oso in Snohomish County, Wash. The mud and debris is 20 feet deep in places and covers 1.3 square miles across the north fork of the Stillaguamish River and Washington State Route 530 between the towns of Arlington and Darrington. SR 530 is blocked and remains closed. Concern about additional slide activity is impeding ground search and rescue. As of March 26 there were two shelters open with 17 occupants.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports there are 16 confirmed fatalities, 13 persons injured and 18 persons unaccounted for. There are also reports of 108 unconfirmed missing persons. At least 49 structures have been damaged or destroyed, including an estimated 16 homes destroyed. An additional seven homes are flooded due to the backed-up river. Search and rescue activities and damage assessments are ongoing.
CWS disaster response specialists are working with state, regional and local VOADS (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), FEMA and CWS member denominations and other agencies to determine where CWS denominations can help or will be needed. The American Red Cross Snohomish County Chapter in Everett, Wash., has become the unofficial gathering station and may be contacted at 425-252-4103.
CWS will provide material resources, such as CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Baby Care Kits, Hygiene Kits and Blankets, if requested.
As the situation moves from immediate search and rescue efforts to long-term recovery work, CWS is ready to respond to requests for training support as well as requests for financial support to get long-term recovery committees organized and operating.
How To Help:
Financial contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Donations to our emergency response efforts around the globe may also be made online.
During any disaster, including this mudslide, the best help that an individual can provide is cash.
If you want to provide useful material assistance, help keep CWS warehouses stocked with CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits and School Kits. Click here for instructions: www.cwsglobal.org/get-involved/kits. If you have other supplies that you think may be of help, contact a CWS emergency response specialist to see whether the materials can be used and, if so, where.
Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.
The lead CWS Emergency Response Specialist for this disaster is Kuulei Funn: firstname.lastname@example.org 808-226-6432
The other CWS Emergency Response Specialists who may be contacted to provide information are:
Joann Hale: email@example.com 917-705-3038
Sandra Kennedy-Owes: firstname.lastname@example.org 251-725-4262
Susanne Gilmore: email@example.com 785-477-7823
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit www.cwsglobal.org or call the CWS Hotline, 800-297-1516.
CWS Development and Humanitarian Assistance Program/CWS New York office: 212-870-3151