2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 20, 2006
Only two dozen
people out of 1,800
missing rescued from
debris from landslide
GUINSAUGON, Philippines (AP)
-Standing in a light drizzle, the
handful of mourners didn't know
any of the 30 people laid side by side
in a mass grave yesterday as work-
ers began burying the few victims
recovered since a mudslide wiped
out this farming village.
Anyone who could have identi-
fied the bodies was likely under a
carpet of muck up to 30 feet deep,
and hopes all but evaporated that
more survivors would be found.
Only about two dozen, battered,
dazed people have been rescued
from the debris left by Friday's
disaster, which left some 1,800 peo-
ple missing and presumed dead.
Weary search teams found more
than a dozen bodies yesterday, and
today the number of confirmed
deaths rose to 74. With no one left
to claim the dead and bodies quickly
starting to decompose in the tropi-
cal heat, officials ordered them bur-
ied in mass graves.
At a cemetery five miles from
Guinsaugon, a Roman Catholic
priest sprinkled holy water on 30
bodies, some wrapped in bags, oth-
ers in cheap wooden coffins, then
said a prayer through a mask worn
to filter out the stench.
Volunteers lowered the bodies to
men who placed them side by side at
the bottom of the grave.
The only witnesses were local
health officials, the provincial gov-
ernor, some of her staff and a few
ictims buried in mass grave NEWS IN BRIEF
HEADLA'NES MA UDTE L
U.S. Marines during their first drop off of the day that continued rescue and reconstruction efforts in the devas-
tated landslide area, early today in Guinsaugon village in Leyte, southeast of Manila, Philippines.
nearby residents. Some evacuees
from the landslide watched from
the window of a nearby Catholic
Twenty more bodies were to be
buried there today.
In the capital, President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo said yesterday
that "all the efforts of our govern-
ment continue and will not stop
while there is hope to find survi-
vors." But those hopes faded each
hour - no survivors have been
found since Friday.
Yesterday, dozens of haggard U.S.
Marines and Philippine soldiers
resumed digging in the sea of mud
covering the village.
A woman who escaped the
destruction said the first inkling
of the disaster was a mild shaking
of the ground, followed by a loud
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boom and a roar that sounded like
"I looked up to the mountain and
I saw the ground and boulders rush-
ing down," Alicia Miravalles said
She said she ran across her fam-
ily's rice field ahead of the wall of
mud and boulders. "I thought I was
dead. If the landslide did not stop, I
would really be dead now."
Eight miners found
near exit have been
rescued and hospitalized
SAN JUAN DE SABINAS,
Mexico (AP) - A gas buildup in
a northern Mexico coal mine trig-
gered a pre-dawn explosion yester-
day, trapping at least 65 coal miners
underground with a limited supply
of oxygen. Emergency officials were
tunneling through the debris to res-
At least eight miners who had
been near the mine's exit when the
explosion occurred were rescued
and hospitalized with burns and bro-
Union and company officials said
they believed there were 65 miners
trapped in various places throughout
the mine, near the town of San Juan
de Sabinas, 135 kilometers 85 miles
southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas. Res-
cue officials had not been able to make
contact with the trapped miners.
Juan Rebolledo, vice president
of international affairs for mining
giant Grupo Mexico, which owns
the mine, said several rescue teams
were taking turns carefully remov-
ing debris that had clogged the steep
"It's slow work because of the
quantity of debris," he said.
Rebolledo said officials were
unaware of the miners' conditions.
He said oxygen tanks were scat-
tered throughout the mine, but it was
impossible to know if the trapped
miners had access to them or how
long they could survive before res-
cue workers reached them. The
explosion occurred at about 2:30
Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira
Valdes, who was at the site over-
seeing the rescue operation, told
Televisa network that the mine's
ventilation system was still working.
The mine was about 985 feet below
Officials had cordoned off the
area, and family members waited
outside the security zone for infor-
As night fell, many built bon-
fires and wrapped themselves in
donated blankets to guard against
Daniel Romo, a spokesman for
Coahuila state's emergency ser-
vices, said authorities did not know
how long it would take to reach the
Government arrests cartoon protesters
Pakistani security forces arrested hundreds of Islamic hard-liners, virtually sealed off
the capital and used gunfire and tear gas yesterday to quell protests against caricatures
of the Prophet Muhammad.
Pakistan had banned protests after riots killed five people in two cities last week.
Elsewhere in the Muslim world yesterday, demonstrators with wooden staves and
stones tried unsuccessfully to storm the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, while tens of thou-
sands rallied in the Turkish city of Istanbul and complained about negative Western
perceptions of Islam.
Troops patrolled the deserted streets of the northern Nigerian town of Maiduguri,
where thousands of Muslims attacked Christians and burned churches Saturday, killing
at least 15 people during a protest over the cartoons. Most of the victims were beaten to
death by rioters. In Saudi Arabia, newspapers ran full-page apologies by Jyllands-
Posten, the Danish newspaper that first ran the caricatures in September. The
newspaper's Web site said businesses placed the ad on their own initiative, using an
apology issued by the newspaper late last month.
Russia to host talks on Iran nudear program
The spotlight on Tehran's nuclear program shifts today to Moscow,
where Iranian officials are to hold talks on a proposal to move their ura-
nium enrichment to Russia ina bid to ease fears the Islamic republic will
develop atomic weapons.
Iran said yesterday it will consider Moscow's proposal if certain provisions are
met, giving new hope for what is seen as an eleventh-hour chance to avert confronta-
tion ahead of a crucial meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which could start a
process leading to sanctions.
"At the moment there's only one diplomatic door left open, and it's open a crack,"
said Rose Gottemoeller, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. "So I think this set
of talks on Monday is very important for the future of the diplomatic approach."
For Russia, the talks are an opportunity to stave off the threat of action
against a country in which it has strong interests and to win prestige by
helping find a solution to a conflict in which it was long seen as part of
Israel its payments to Palestinian government
Israel branded the Palestinian government a "terrorist authority" yesterday and
halted the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax money after Hamas
took control of the Palestinian parliament.
But the Israeli government held off on adopting even more drastic measures rec-
ommended by security officials, mindful of possible international reaction.
The sanctions came as the Palestinian militant group worked to consolidate
its power and form a government, nominating one of its more pragmatic leaders,
Ismail Haniyeh, to be the new prime minister.
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, was scheduled to meet
with Haniyeh in Gaza today and formally ask him to assemble a Cabinet. Haniyeh
said Hamas would begin talks with possible coalition partners today.
Coach at center of doping probe crashes car
The banned Austrian ski coach at the center of a doping investigation at
the Turin Olympics crashed his car into a police roadblock yesterday evening
after leading authorities on a bizarre chase.
Walter Mayer was slightly injured in the accident, in which he struck an
unoccupied police car set up as an impromptu barrier in the town of Pater-
nion in the southwestern province of Carinthia, about 15 miles from the Ital-
ian frontier and some 250 miles from Turin, police said. He was taken into
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