One person is reportedly dead and multiple others are missing following a massive landslide over a highway in southeast Alaska, according to ABC News, citing the state’s Department of Public Safety.
The landslide occurred on Monday around 9 p.m. on the Zimovia Highway near Wrangell, Alaska, according to a press release. Upon inspection from emergency responders, three houses were determined to be in the path of the landslide.
The Alaska State Troopers have enforced a search and rescue effort since the natural disaster occurred. While only one body has been found dead, several others are reportedly missing, according to ABC News. (RELATED: Landslide Kills At Least 17 People Amid Torrential Rainfall In Congo)
BREAKING: At least one person is dead and several others are believed to be missing following a “large landslide” in Alaska, officials said.
The landslide was reported shortly before 9 p.m. local time Monday near Wrangell, a city in the Alaska Panhandle, officials said.… pic.twitter.com/zBOqwTNIiB
— ABC News (@ABC) November 21, 2023
The slide is estimated to be 450 feet wide containing “significant debris” and remained active throughout the night, according to a post on Facebook from the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. (RELATED: Apocalyptic Scenes As Mudslides Rip Through Small Italian Town)
Officials have asked some local residents near the incident to evacuate their houses, with all others were cautioned to avoid the area, ABC noted.
While normal weather conditions within the area are typically wet, rain was particularly abundant on Sunday and Monday, falling more than three inches with winds reaching up to 61 to 87 mph, National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Park told CNN.
Republican Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration Tuesday morning, then posted to Twitter asking residents to stay away from the area and to call the Wrangell Police Department if they know someone missing.
“The public is asked to stay away from the slide area due to unstable slope conditions,” Dunleavy stated. “Rose and I are heartbroken by this disaster and we pray for the safety of all those on site and offer all the resources our state has available.”
This morning I verbally issued a disaster declaration for Wrangell after a large landslide took out multiple homes around mile 11 of the Zimovia Highway. Alaska State Troopers and multiple agencies responded to the slide to conduct search and rescue. One fatality has been…
— Governor Mike Dunleavy (@GovDunleavy) November 21, 2023