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Mudslide death toll hits 25 as body found

AT least 25 people have been confirmed dead and 90 remain missing after another body was found following the mudslide in rural Washington state.

A spokesman for fire fighters told a community meeting in Darrington yesterday evening of the grim discovery.

As the death toll grew, the community rallied to comfort the bereaved and rescue crews with everything from free food to prayer vigils.

Stores in nearby Arlington put up hand-painted signs calling for donations, boy scouts collected food and a bowling league offered tournament prize money to relief efforts.


Construction worker Steve Findley cooked breakfast for dozens of residents inside a school the Red Cross had made into a shelter. He said: "All the people I know are gone."

The disaster was triggered when a rain-soaked hillside collapsed near the tiny town of Oso last Saturday, cascading over a river and onto homes and blanketing a square mile area in mud and debris.

About 200 rescuers with sniffer dogs, camera equipment and listening devices were scouring the scene yesterday ahead of rain forecast for today.

President Barack Obama has signed a declaration ordering government aid to help the search. A local disaster relief account had nearly $50,000 (335,000) in it today.