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Half-Blind Elderly Woman Found 24 Days After Volcano

December 09, 1985|From Reuters

BOGOTA, Colombia — A half-blind woman of 75 has been rescued from the devastated Colombian town of Armero 24 days after it was wiped out by a volcanic eruption, officials said today.

Maj. Rafael Ruiz Navarro, appointed mayor of Armero after his predecessor died in the avalanche of mud that killed 23,000 people, said Maria Rosa Elvira Echeverri was found during the weekend in her shack of corrugated iron.

She survived on provisions acquired just before the Nov. 13 eruption. When Red Cross workers found her, she was cooking her last portion of rice and hot chocolate.

She told reporters that she tried several times to leave but was forced to go back when she found mud all around her shack. Ruiz Navarro said the woman's very poor eyesight probably explained why she never found a passage across the sea of mud that buried Armero.

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