• Short Summary

    CONTRARY TO PREVIOUS REPORTS IT WAS NOT LAKE SANABRIA (CQ), WHICH FLOWED DOWN AND WRECKED THE TOWN.

  • Description

    CONTRARY TO PREVIOUS REPORTS IT WAS NOT LAKE SANABRIA (CQ), WHICH FLOWED DOWN AND WRECKED THE TOWN. THE DAM HELD BACK THE HEAVY HEADWATERS OF THE TERA RIVER (CQ) ABOUT 12 KILOMETRES BACK UP IN THE MOUNTAINS AND AWAY FROM THE TOWN. WHEN THE DAM BROKS AND THE WATERS SURGED THROUGH, IT WAS FORTUNATE THAT LAKE SANABRIA (CQ) WAS ABLE TO ABSORB MOST OF THIS EXCESS WATER OR THREE MORE TOWNS IN THE AREA WOULD ALSO HAVE BEEN WASHED AWAY. RESCUE CREWS WERE NOT HELD BACK BY RAGING TORRENTS AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED. THE WATERS SUBSIDED WITHIN 45 MINUTES AFTER THE FIRST ONSLAUGHT. THE PROBLEM WAS THE FACT THE LAKE OVER FLOWED IN SEVERAL AREAS AND BLOCKED THE ROADS. THE WATER WAS TOO DEEP TO ALLOW CARS TO PASS AND TOO SHALLOW FOR BOATS. HEAVY RAINS IN THE AREA HAD TURNED THE SURROUNDING HILLSIDES INTO A MUD SEA, SO THERE WAS NO WAY TO GET THROUGH UNTIL THE LAKE LEVEL LOWERED AND ALLOWED USE OF THE ROADS. THE FIRST ONSLAUGHT COMPLETELY WASHED OUT THE LOWER PART OF TOWN, YOU COULDN'T EVEN FIND A FOUNDATION. THE RUBBLE WAS THROWN AGAINST THE PROTECTED PART OF THE VILLAGE (THE HIGH PART) WITH SUCH FORGE THAT MANY OF THESE SO CALLED "SAFE AREA" WERE COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE WATER HARDLY REACHED THEM. THERE ARE OFFICIALLY 210 TOWNS PEOPLE DEAD OR PRESUMED TO BE DEAD ALTHOUGH SO FAR ONLY 17 BODIES BEEN RECOVERED. THESE ARE THE FIGURES AS QUOTED BY ARTURRO CHAMORRO (CQ), PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL RED CROSS AND CHIEF OF THE RESCUE MISSION. ALTHOUGH FOUR OF F??? HAVE BEEN SIGHTED FLOATING ON THE LAKE, THE BULK ARE EXPECTED TO BE FOUND UNDER ALL THE RUBBLE. SAID SENOR CHAMORRO, "THE RESCUE OPERATION WILL CONTINUE UNTIL EVERY STONE AND EVERY PILE OF DIRT THAT WASN'T HERE BEFORE HAS BEEN MOVED. ONLY THEN CAN IT BE ASSUMED THAT THERE ARE NO MORE BODIES UNDER THE TOWN." RIBA DE LAGO (CQ) SITS, HALF ON A HIGH HILL OVER-LOOKING THE BANKS OF THE TERA RIVER AND THE OTHER PART SAT ON WHAT NOW APPEARS TO BE A WIDE BEACH LIKE FLAT LAND. THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE RUBBLE AND RUIN IN THE HIGH PART AND THE COMPLETE LACK OF EVEN A VISIBLE FOUNDATION IN THE LOWER AREA IS ASTOUNDING. THERE, THE TOWN IS GONE.

    HYSTERICAL SURVIVORS WANDERED THROUGH THE STREETS AND OVER THE RUBBLE THROUGH OUT THE DAY SEARCHING FOR THE PITIFUL FEW POSSESSIONS THAT REMAINED, SOME WERE ABLE TO RECOVER A STRING OF SPANISH SAUSAGES AND THIS MADE THEM VERY HAPPY, BECAUSE THIS WAS FOOD AND OTHERS WERE ABLE TO SCRAPE OUT OF THE RUBBLE THE REMAINS OF WHAT HAD ONCE BEEN THEIR WARDROBE. MANY WERE CONTENT TO FIND A SPOON, WHICH THEY RECOGNIZED AS THEIRS.

    A U.S. HELICOPTER BROUGHT IN SPANISH OFFICIALS AND STAYED TO EVACUATE THE INJURED, BUT IT WAS SOON DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE NO INJURED AND SO IT WAS SENT AWAY. THE COMPLETE LINE SEPARATING DEAD FROM LIVING WAS SHOCKING. THEY WERE EITHER GONE OF THEY SURVIVED. THERE WERE NO WOUNDED OR INJURED. THOSE, WHO WERE HURT OR BANGED (CQ) AROUND, WERE FINISHED OFF BY THE WATER, SO THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO TELL YOU WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE CAUGHT IN THE FRONT OF THE RUSHING HEADWATERS. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET THROUGH TO THE DAM SIGHT. ALL ACCESS POINTS HAD BEEN WASHED AWAY AND A LOW CEILING PREVENTED THE HELICOPTER FROM GETTING THROUGH. THE AUTHORITIES SAID IT WOULD BE MONDAY BEFORE THE WAY COULD BE CLEARED SO, IN THE INTEREST OF SPEED, WE LET THAT PART GO.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA49MFLAWO5XE52PBMFN6W19JAQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA49MFLAWO5XE52PBMFN6W19JAQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    13/01/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:07:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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