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'Heartbroken' President to visit Washington landslide site on April 22

By John Newsome and Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
updated 8:19 PM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
President Obama speaks to first responders, recovery workers and community members on Tuesday, April 22, at the scene of the deadly landslide that devastated Oso, Washington, one month before. The landslide crossed the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and caused multiple deaths and massive damage. President Obama speaks to first responders, recovery workers and community members on Tuesday, April 22, at the scene of the deadly landslide that devastated Oso, Washington, one month before. The landslide crossed the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and caused multiple deaths and massive damage.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Of the 35 bodies recovered, 31 have been identified, the medical examiner says
  • NEW: 11 people are still missing, authorities say
  • President Barack Obama will visit the area on April 22, the one-month anniversary
  • He will meet with search-and-recovery crews, the White House says

(CNN) -- The death toll from a massive landslide that struck in Washington state's Cascade Mountains rose Tuesday to 35, the Snohomish County medical examiner said.

Eleven people are still missing after a rain-saturated hillside along the Stillaguamish River gave way on the outskirts of the rural town of Oso on March 22.

The news came as the White House announced President Barack Obama will visit the area on April 22, the one month anniversary of the slide, and meet with search crews.

"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who lost a loved one and those whose friends and family remain missing as a result of this devastating incident," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

Asked during the briefing if it would be a routine visit, Carney said "the pain of the family members who loved ones is not routine."

"It's unique in each case and each instance," Carney said. "And I think the President is as heartbroken by this event, as he has been on each occasion that something like this has happened in the country, where he traveled to participate in ceremonies or services that commemorate those lost and celebrate their lives."

Search crews continue to dig through deep, gelatinous mud and debris, which is 70 feet thick in some places, to search for the missing.

Of the 34 recovered bodies, 30 have been identified, the medical examiner said.

CNN's Carma Hassan contributed to this report.

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