4 people missing after landslides in southeast Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Emergency responders say another person is missing after landslides struck a southeast Alaska town, bringing the total number of people missing to four.

Search and rescue personnel are looking for the missing people in Sitka, where three landslides were reported Tuesday morning after 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. One sinkhole also was reported.

Sitka fire spokeswoman Sara Peterson says the people who are unaccounted for were all in the same neighborhood hit by one of the landslides. She did not know if the people were all together when the landslide occurred.

An office building just outside of town was evacuated late Tuesday morning because it is near one of the landslides.

Peterson says it was drizzling early Tuesday afternoon, and more rain is expected.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

Three people were missing in a southeast Alaska town Tuesday after landslides prompted by heavy rain, emergency responders said.

Search and rescue personnel were looking for the missing people in Sitka, where three landslides were reported Tuesday morning after 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. One sinkhole also was reported.

The people who were unaccounted for were all in the same neighborhood hit by one of the landslides, Sitka fire spokeswoman Sara Peterson said. She did not know if the people were all together when the landslide occurred.

An office building just outside town was evacuated late Tuesday morning because it is near one of the landslides.

It was drizzling early Tuesday afternoon, and Peterson said more rain was expected.

Sitka, almost 600 miles southeast of Anchorage, is characterized by heavy rain throughout the year.

Heavy rain was blamed for a major landslide near the coastal town in September that wiped out hundreds of thousands of dollars in watershed-restoration projects. The rain also damaged a footbridge and trails, including one that had been repaired after flooding in January 2014.

A year earlier, two people at a U.S. Forest service cabin near Sitka escaped moments before part of a mountain slid down.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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