Six people have been declared missing and at least four houses have been destroyed after a series of landslides hit Haines, Alaska on Wednesday, afternoon, authorities said.
According to Washingtonpost, several slides occurred during the day the largest in Battery Hill, was about 600 feet wide and trapped about 30 people, the victims were soon evacuated.
As of Wednesday night, there are approximately 9 feet of mud and trees covering the area where the houses were destroyed, according to the Alaska department of public safety.
Search and rescue operations were suspended for the evening due to rumbling unstable ground, Juneau’s Alaska wildlife troopers, Alaska state troopers, Juneau mountain rescue, SEADOGS and capital city fire department medics departed on Thursday morning, 3 December, on an army guard helicopter to assist in the rescue efforts, due to severe turbulence they were unable to visit the area on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the mayor issued a declaration of emergency due to the severe flooding in the area caused by a winter storm. The declaration states that due to heavy rain and snow, several roads are flooded and impassable and there was significant infrastructure loss due to the deterioration and collapse of roads.
Due to the declaration of emergency, the town closed its school and non-essential businesses.
“Haines is going to be needing lots of prayers, Olerud wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
“We have several roads that have washed out, mudslides and houses flooding. Crews have been working all night but the amount of rain we are getting is making it difficult for them to address all the problems, please be patient with each other, these are stressful times but Haines will come together and help each other, Olerud added.
Various local businesses are helping out the community by providing food and blankets to those in need.