Massive landslide blamed on rain

00:26, Mar 23 2014
Mudslide
SPRAWLING MESS: Officials survey a large mudslide in this handout photo provided by the Washington State Police near Oso, Washington.

Authorities say a massive landslide in Washington state has killed three people, injured eight others and destroyed at least six houses.

An estimated 1.6-kilometre-long slide of dirt, trees, rocks and other debris hit just before 11am on Saturday (local time) in Snohomish County.

Snohomish County spokeswoman Shari Ireton said a 6-month-old infant was among those injured.

Authorities believed the slide was caused by ground water saturation from recent heavy rainfall.

The landslide had blocked State Route 530 near the town of Oso, about 90 kilometres north of Seattle.

Also blocked is the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, which is expected to cause flooding in the area.

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AP