The death toll from a massive mudslide in the north-west US state of Washington reached eight late Sunday, according to The Seattle Times newspaper.

Rescue workers were to continue their search on Monday for more than a dozen still unaccounted for in Saturday’s mudslide, but hope of finding survivors was fading.

“We didn’t see or hear any signs of life out there today,” Travis Hots, chief of Snohomish County Fire districts 21 and 22, said during a news conference.

Officials said earlier on Sunday that four people were dead and 18 still missing. It was not clear whether the additional four fatalities confirmed later in the day were from those missing.

On Saturday, the rain-soaked side of a mountain in Snohomish County suddenly slammed into the homes, highway and river below it.

At least eight people were injured, including a six-month-old baby listed in critical condition, The Seattle Times reported.

The 18 missing lived directly in the path of the mudslide, Mr. Hots was cited as saying by the Herald newspaper of Everett, Washington.

People driving on Highway 530 may also have been buried or washed away, Mr. Hots said.

The deep, unstable mud was still moving, making it extremely unsafe for rescuers, who had to give up a search on Saturday night to find someone yelling for help from a buried house, officials said.

Officials urged residents downstream along the Stillaguamish River to evacuate, out of fear of a flash flood.

About 100 rescuers were on the ground or in the air, Mr. Hots said.

Geologists were also surveying the area from the air to see what could be done to stabilise things to protect rescue workers.

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