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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 9, 1998)
Monday, November 9,1998 ____Page2
“I was thinking, I was begging God to let someone find me and rescue me.
But there was no one. No one saw me.”
Teacher survives 6 days at sea
I cried every day. I was
crying more than I was
quiet. Day and night I cried
and screamed. I was
I did it all.”
Laura Isabel Arriola bs Graft
TRUJILLO, Honduras (AP) - Flushed out of her
village by Hurricane Mitchfe raging floodwaters and
driffi^ for six days far into die Caribbean Sea, Laura
Isabel Arriola de Guity was alone.
Her husband and three children were dead. All she
had was a makeshift raft, the sea below her, the sun in
the day and the moon at night There was no land in
On the sixth day, she spotted a duck near her raft
Hours later, she was spotted by an airplane looking for
a yacht that had disappeared during the storm. A
British helicopter rescued her.
The 36-year-old schoolteacher is recovering from
dehydration, sun exposure and hypothermia at a hos
pital in die northern Honduran city of Trujillo. She is
expected to be released soon.
In an interview in her ward, Arriola tried in vain to
told hold back tears as she described six days of terror
and miracles, surviving a storm officials say killed at
least 10,000people in Central America.
Arriola and her family lived in the village of Barra
de Aguap, near the mouth of the Aguan River,
Normally her house was about two miles from the sea
on one side and more than a mile from the river on the
other. But when Hurricane Mitch stalled over the
Honduran coast Oct 28, the sea and the river merged
into what seemed like a single body of water.
Arriola’s house was quickly swept away, so her
family took refuge at a neighbor’s home. They briefly
found shelter in one room, but a wall there also caved
in, and the river tore through the house. Arriola
clutched her 4-year-old son, Andersson Moises, and
shouted at her husband and brother-in-law to grab the
other two children: Frances Elizabeth, 8, and Ricardo
Gerson, 10. ^
She tried to hold on to her son, but the river ripped
“I tried to float so I could see oyer die water,” she
said. “I swam and swam, trying to save him, trying to
get to somewhere dry. And then I realized I was
already in the sea.”
She never saw her family again.
Arriola, a strong swimmer, clung to some floating
palm branches for four hours. Using debris in the
water, she made a 4-foot-by-4-foot raft out of tree
roots, branches and a mortarboard.
“I was thinking, I was begging God to let someone
find me and rescue me,” she said. “Put there was no
one. No one saw me.”
Debris littered die sea. Arriola spotted the corpse
of a child, along with several dead animals. But she
also found coconuts, which gave her milk, as well as
pineapples and oranges.
On the second day, she spatted t\ro islands in the
distance, which she believed were Roatan and Utila -
about 100 miles from her home. But the sea and winds
pushed her in the other direction.
Arriola slept little. Rough seas made it difficult to
rest, and she was knocked off die raft several times.
“I cried every day. I was crying more than I was
quiet Day and ni^ I cried and scrramed. I was pray
ing, worshipping. I did it all. The only thing I couldn’t
do was run, because there was no place for me to run
Herprayers bore fruit Nov. 2, when she saw a plane
flying by and waved at it It turned and passed over her
T was trying to stand up on the raft, but a wave
threw me in die sea,” she said.
She climbed back on the raft The plane passed
again, this time dropping something in the water that
exploded It was likely intended to marie the spot, but
Arriola was scared she was being bombed.
The plane descended and passed again. This time,
she could see two people inside who gestured at her.
About half an hour latei; she saw something in the
air that she thought was a bird. It turned out to be a
British helicopter coming to rescue, bar. A crewman
was lowered to the raft and placed Arriola in a harness
before she was pulled on board.
“I told him, thank God you have saved me. Thank
God,” she said.
still wait for aid
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) - Aid
shipments poured into Central America on
Sunday as workers struggled to get food, water
and medicine to flood victims before more died
in regions battered by. Hurricane Mitch.
Assisting a beleaguered Honduran Red
Cross, the American Red Cross on Sunday was
delivering enough food to feed 1,000 families
for a month in the southern city of Choluteca,
which was cut off from the rest of Honduras
until Saturday. Forty tons of water-purification
chemicals and antibiotics were also on die way.
Red Cross trucks filled with aid also began
rumbling Sunday morning into Posoltega,
Nicaragua, where an estimated 2,000 people
were killed in a mudslide.
But refugees there complained that the aid
had not yet reached them.
“We heard on the radio that aid is coming,
but we’re still eating rice,” said Ann Soto, 19, at
a refugee shelter in Posoltega.
Foreign relief officials toured Tegucigalpa
for a firsthand look at aid needs. They found res
idents seeking safe water and medicines.
“We have nothing to drink,” Argentina
Giron, 30, told Hugh Parmer, coordinator of the
U.S. Agency for International Development
effort, at a high school serving as a shelter.
She said she doesn’t know where she was picked
up, but news accounts said it was 25 miles north of
Guanaja Island - about 75 miles from her home.
Arriola says she’ll likely live with relatives after
being discharged from the hospital. The bodies of her
husband and daughter have been found. The other two
children are presumed dead.
With her family and home gone, she doesn’t know
what die’ll do with the rest of her life.
“I have notiling. I have nowhere to go,” she said. “I
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THE DALY NEBRASKAN
l . . . --• - - * --- --
Netanyahu calls for
outlaw of extremists
■ Chaos and terrorism
in Israel continue to test
the land-for-security peace
JERUSALEM (AP) - With Israeli
soldiers fanning out Sunday in search
of a militant Islamic leader, Israel
demanded that Palestinian authorities
outlaw the military wings of two rad
Implementation of the new
Mideast land-for-security accord,
signed Oct. 23 in Washington, was
supposed to have begun last week,
but has hit various snags.
Most recently, Israel’s Cabinet put
off a vote to ratify the accord after a
suicide bombing Friday in Jerusalem
. that killed the two assailants and
injured 21 Israelis. The radical group
Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Sunday, the Israeli army set up
roadblocks, forbade residents from
leaving their homes for several hours
and searched the West Bank village
of Kabatiya for a leader of the mili
The Israeli army said troops had
fired at a fleeing terrorist suspect
there and soldiers found a pistol and
fflke Israeli identification cards in the
suspect’s abandoned car.
Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu said Suilday there would
be no withdrawal from the West Bank
until the Palestinians proved their
crackdown on terrorism was serious.
“They’re not fighting (terrorism)
hard enough,” Netanyahu said at a
political rally outside Tel Aviv. “If
they fight, they’ll get (land). If they
don’t fight, they won’t get,”
David Bar-Illan, a top aide to
Netanyahu, said Israel expects
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to
formally outlaw the military wings of
Islamic Jihad and the larger group
Hassan Asfour, a senior
Palestinian official, said those groups
were outlawed by the Palestinian
Authority in 1996. But Bar-Illan said
the Palestinian legislature had never
passed such a law.
A Palestinian security official
said on condition of anonymity that
joint meeting of Israeli and
Palestinian security officials were
held Saturday night to discuss securi
ty in die wake of Friday's attack.
force in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) -
President Clinton on Sunday put off
a decision on whether to use force to
try to reopen Iraq’s weapons sites to
In a two-hour meeting with
senior advisers, Clinton directed
them to weigh military and diplo
matic strategies for a few more days.
Among the considerations was
that Iraq might respond to an attack
by permanently banning the interna
tional search for illegal chemical and
And yet, over seven trying years,
diplomacy has failed to compel Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein to com
ply completely with the U.N.
Security Council^ attempt to ensure
the elimination of all potential
weapons of mass destruction.
Eight days ago, Saddam
declared a halt to cooperation with
the U.N. special commission that
conducts searches for chemical and
Fifteen U.N. weapons inspec
tors, some of them experts on mis
siles, left Baghdad on Saturday as
the United Nations began to reduce
its presence in Iraq.
Killings said to violate
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) -
The killings of five ethnic Albanian H
rebels by Serb police are violations
of the cease-fire established' last
month under an accord to end vio
lence in Kosovo, a rebel said
* Sebajdin Cena, who described
himself as the Kosovo Liberation
Army doctor at its regional head
quarters in Retinje village, said one I
of the victims was commander of
two brigades in the region.
The five died Friday on a road ■
near Opterusa in central Kosovo. ■
Police described the encounter as a ■
shoot-out and said the KLA guerril
las fired first. Foreign observers
reported a similar account.
sentenced to death
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - A
judge convicted and sentenced to
death 15 former military comman
ders in the 1975 assassination of the
country’s first prime minister, bring
ing an end to a trial delayed for years
by Bangladesh’s bitter and often
Bangladeshis welcomed the con
victions, which marked a rare
instance of the nation resolving a
violent episode in its past though the
orderly exercise of justice.
Four other defendants, including
a former junior minister for informa
tion, were acquitted in the assassina
tion of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
because of insufficient evidence.
Glenn back to normal
after return from space
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP)
- After a shaky reintroduction to
gravity, John Glenn was “95 or 98
percent back to normal” Sunday,
walking briskly, telling jokes and
urging old folks to follow their
“I feel very elated that things
went well. We got a lot of the data
we were looking to get and worked
very hard up there,” NASA’s 77
year-old geriatric test subject said
ms nrsi morning oacK on narin.
“Obviously, we’d like to ... go
right back up again, but that’s not to
be. And so a sense of accomplish
ment I guess I feel and a little bit of
letdown that the whole thing is over,
maybe, but nothing serious.”
Clinton calls for closing
of loophole in Brady law
WASHINGTON (AP) -
President Clinton set in motion
Saturday a tightening of the Brady
law aimed at stopping 5,000 gun
shows around the nation from
becoming “illegal arms bazaars” for
criminals and gunrunners. #
Clinton ordered the Treasury
and Justice departments to recom
mend executive actions within 60
days that will close a loophole in the
Brady gun-control law.
The government estimates that 5
million people a year attend gun
shows, typically held in convention
centers, school gymnasiums or fair
grounds. The Brady law require
ment for five-day waiting periods
and background checks does not
currently apply to gun-show pur-,
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