(WRANGELL, Alaska) — 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 along the Zimovia Highway at mile 11 shortly before 9 p.m. local time Monday near Wrangell, a city in the Alaska Panhandle, officials said. Three homes were determined to be directly in the path of the landslide, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety.
Emergency responders from the Wrangell police and fire departments, Alaska Wildlife Troopers and other agencies responded immediately and “started a hasty search to look for survivors,” the Alaska Department of Public Safety said in a statement.
The body of one deceased person was located during the search, the Alaska Department of Public Safety said.
“Multiple individuals are believed to have been within the slide area when the landslide occurred and are believed to be missing,” the Alaska Department of Public Safety said.
The Alaska State Troopers are leading the search and rescue effort, which has been paused due to the dangerous conditions.
“A large-scale search and rescue effort cannot be done at this time as the site is extremely hazardous and unstable,” Wrangell officials said.
The Alaska Department of Public Safety said it is working to have a geologist conduct a safety assessment on Tuesday before resuming the ground search. Drone equipment is also en route to the area.
Officials advised individuals not to enter the slide area, as additional landslides are possible in the area. Residents in the area have been urged to evacuate into Wrangell.
The Zimovia Highway remains closed to traffic south of mile 6.
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