Three Bay Area Red Cross chapters deploy 19 volunteers to Washington mudslide relief effort

American Red Cross chapters in Silicon Valley, Santa Cruz and the Bay Area have assigned 19 trained volunteers to work in the relief effort for victims of the deadly landslide in Oso, Wash., a spokesman said.

On Wednesday, six volunteers from San Jose, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park and Campbell of the Silicon Valley chapter and three from Santa Cruz and Felton in the group's Santa Cruz chapter were assigned to join the relief campaign, the Red Cross' Bay Area region spokesman Woody Baker-Cohn said.

So far, the Silicon Valley group has flown eight people, Santa Cruz seven and the Bay Area chapter four up to Washington to take part in supporting and comforting people dealing with the landslide and the loss of family members and friends, Baker-Cohn said.

As of Wednesday in Oso, Wash., 90 people were still unaccounted for and the bodies of 25 people have been recovered in the massive mudslide that happened on Saturday, 55 miles northeast of Seattle, according to the Snohomish County, Wash. Sheriff's Office.

The mudslide, triggered by heavy rains, covered one square mile and rose from 15 to 20 feet high, the sheriff's office reported

Deputies verified Wednesday that 140 people registered with the Red Cross in Oso were safe, and at least seven people had been rescued, but the status of 35 other people was unknown.

The slide, which covered part of Washington's State Route 530 in Snohomish County, affected an area with 49 homes, 25 of which were occupied at the time, the sheriff's office reported.

Crews focusing on rescuing the missing and recovering property from the dirt and debris included more than 65 members of the National Guard in Washington along with local, state and other federal responders, deputies said.

On the day of the slide, the Red Cross sent several response vehicles and 100 trained support workers, who provided 3,800 meals and snacks and dozens of comfort kits to victims, group officials reported.

Red Cross workers are also providing shelter, emotional comfort, basic health and mental health service to families of those who lost members or are awaiting word about those still missing, officials said.

Trained volunteers deployed by the Red Cross' Silicon Valley chapter on Wednesday included Susann Newswanger, of Sunnyvale; John Griffiths of San Jose; Kevin Austin, a logistics volunteer from San Jose; Edwin Ehmke, a technology volunteer from Menlo Park; and Ann Herosy, an operation management volunteer from Campbell.

The Santa Cruz chapter assigned Darryl Davies, a retired firefighter from Felton; Sandy Lansdale, of Santa Cruz and Leonard Davis, a sheltering supervisor from Santa Cruz.

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