Alaska Department of Transportation
The Alaska Department of Transportation estimates the landslide is 450 feet wide and has a large debris field.
A young girl was found dead and five other people remain missing after a large landslide covered a highway near a remote southeast Alaska community on Monday, according to the Department of Public Safety of State.
The landslide was reported around 9 p.m. local time on Monday on the Zimovia Highway near Wrangell, and a preliminary investigation by emergency services determined that it destroyed three single-family residences in its path, the department said in a statement Tuesday. State troopers have taken command of search and rescue efforts, although ground search efforts are temporarily suspended until the slide can be assessed for safety by a geologist, they said. they indicated.
The deceased girl was found during initial search and rescue efforts Monday evening, Department of Public Safety spokesman Austin McDaniel told CNN. He did not specify the girl’s age.
Three adults and two juveniles are still missing, McDaniel said. A woman was rescued and is receiving medical treatment, he said, stressing that she is in good condition.
It has been rainy in recent days – typical for this time of year – but it was particularly wet on Sunday and Monday, with more than 3 inches of rain falling around Wrangell in the 24 hours before the landslide, Andy Park , a National Weather Service meteorologist in Juneau told CNN.
Park said winds of 61 to 87 mph Monday evening may also have been a factor in the landslides.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration in Wrangell after the deadly landslide, his office posted on social media.
The Alaska Department of Public Safety is urging people not to enter the slide area because it has been active throughout the night and more landslides are possible.
The Alaska Department of Transportation shared an image on Facebook of the landslide that the agency estimates to be 450 feet wide, with a large debris field, according to the post.
CNN has reached out to the Alaska Department of Public Safety for updates.
CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.