Ten days after the devastating 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, leaving an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people dead, 70,000 already buried in mass graves, and 1.5 million homeless, an 86-year old woman was pulled from the rubble alive.
The woman, Marie Carida Roman, was treated at a local hospital and it is uncertain if she will survive after being trapped so long.
“People are still being pulled out of the rubble, extraordinarily,” said John Holmes, U.N. emergency relief coordinator. He stated foreign rescue teams pulled more than 120 people out alive from collapsed buildings. “And we’ll continue with that as long as there is any hope of finding people alive.”
It’s been a day of high emotion for friends and family of Walt Ratterman, who has been missing from the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince since the earthquake struck. (Click here for more information about Ratterman).
A second rescue team of Ratterman’s friends and colleagues, including country singer, “Big Kenny”, flew from all over the world to Haiti to join in the search and rescue efforts at the hotel where Ratterman was believed to have been staying at the time of the quake.
A Fox News report indicated only twelve Americans remain missing in the hotel rubble. Included in those are Walt Ratterman, four Lynn University students, and two Lynn University professors.
Suzanne Grantham, U.S. Dept., invited participants to a conference call at 4 p.m. EST today to discuss the latest developments with the Search and Rescue effort at the Hotel Montana.
She indicated they expect that the Haitian Government will announce later today the end of rescue efforts and the start of the recovery phase.
However, she said, efforts at the Hotel Montana will continue until Saturday.
Ratterman’s friends and family urged everyone to get in touch with the U.S. Dept. of State today to voice their concerns that the search and rescue continue at the Hotel Montana.
There was word around noon today that equipment was being used to clear an entry into the lobby area of the hotel. Another report indicated they were trying to get into the elevator shaft from the top, to use it as an entry-point to places lower in the rubble.
At around 1 p.m. Bob Allen posted, “Tim Glenn of Compassion International is onsite and just posted this: ‘A new group is in charge of efforts at Hotel Montana. Just spoke with the man in charge, Colonel Citron, the heavy machinery is chipping away at that big overhang as we speak.’ Sounds like the Chileans have, indeed, given up the reins now that they obtained their objective.”
Apparently Chileans lead the search efforts and once they found the person they were looking for, the wife of General Toros, they announced, “mission accomplished,” turning the search efforts over to Colonel Citron.
By about 2 p.m. news came in that the search and rescue crew had made a hole in the roof cement slab, “A 10,000-pound hammer broke major holes in hotel roof and elevator. Backhoe now clearing rubble.”
So far, Port-au-Prince has been spared any widespread outbreak of infection.
Walt Ratterman-Haiti Mission Facebook Page
The Washington Post