Obama meets mudslide victims’ families

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iol pic wld Washington Mudslide~16 Associated Press Snohomish County Technical Rescue workers clear plywood and debris from the mud at the west side of the mudslide on Highway 530 near mile marker 37 in Arlington. File picture: Rick Wilking

Washington - The White House said President Barack Obama is due to meet with the families of victims of a deadly mudslide in Washington state on Tuesday afternoon before leaving for a four-country tour of Asia.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said on Monday that 41 victims have been recovered from the slide that buried a river valley neighbourhood in the Cascade mountain foothills last month.

A rain-soaked hillside collapsed above the north fork of the Stillaguamish River on March 22, unleashing a torrent of mud that swallowed up a stretch of a state highway and three dozen homes on the outskirts of the tiny community of Oso.

Obama is due to deliver remarks after meeting with families of victims, emergency workers, and others involved in the recovery effort.

The president signed an emergency declaration ordering US government assistance to supplement state and local relief efforts in the aftermath of the mudslide and flooding.

Obama is due to visit Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines over the next eight days. - Reuters

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