Woman pulled from Haitian hotel alive thanks to text message

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 18 Jan, 2010 Updated Mon 18 Jan 2010 16:14 CEST
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A German woman has been freed from the rubble of a Port-au-Prince hotel four days after the devastating earthquake that plunged the city into chaos. Rescuers found her thanks to a mobile phone text she sent to her husband.

Co-owner of the luxury Hotel Montana, Nadine Cardoso-Riedl, was pulled from the wreckage at 2 am on Sunday morning. According to the paper her husband Reinhard Riedl told an aid organisation that the 62-year-old was severely dehydrated but uninjured after surviving in a cavern formed by the rubble as the hotel collapsed.

She sent her husband a text message so that rescuers could find her more easily, and her son also apparently heard her voice within the ruins of the hotel.

Another fellow German, 28-year-old Hamburg native Christoph Redecker, was confirmed dead by the Foreign Ministry in recent days after his body was found at the same site. Another 200 people are believed to still be under the wreckage there, Bild reported.

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry reported on Monday that 16 Germans are still missing after the massive earthquake rocked Haiti’s capital last Tuesday. A spokesperson told news agency DDP that officials were working feverishly to find the whereabouts of the missing people, but were focusing most of their resources on relief efforts for the increasingly desperate situation in the city.

The German government has increased aid money for Haiti to €7.5 million, while German medics arrived in the stricken country on Sunday to aid in the recovery effort after making their way overland from the Dominican Republic.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle at the weekend announced the increase from the government's initial commitment of €1.5 million. Voluntary organisations, public appeals and donations are also increasing their fund-raising to pay for aid missions.

Meanwhile workers from the Johanniter accident aid organisation arrived on Sunday with a large delivery of basic medical equipment and supplies over the weekend, aiming for a large hospital in Port au Prince which had only been slightly damaged in the quake but has nonetheless been overwhelmed by the situation.

A plane carrying a mobile hospital, three all-wheel-drive vehicles and 200 crates of medical supplies, as well as several volunteers and a doctor, left Berlin for Haiti on Saturday, according to the German Red Cross (DRK).

The mobile hospital has the capacity to treat up to 250 people a day in a system of seven tents which can be erected within a day, DRK spokeswoman Svenja Koch said.

A dispensary filled with medications, as well as a kitchen tent, water tanks, toilets and an electricity generator completes the self-sufficient hospital. The flight and supplies are worth around €800,000, Koch said.

The earthquake, which registered at 7.0 on the Richter scale and destroyed large parts of the capital Port au Prince, a city among the most impoverished and crowed in the world, is the one of worst disasters the United Nations has ever addressed, the organisation said.



DDP/The Local 2010/01/18 16:14

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