Even though it’s been more than three days, rescue crews are refusing to stop until they find the estimated 23 people still missing an avalanche buried an entire hotel in Italy.
At least 10 people have been rescued so far, including two children who were trapped but managed to survive.
Italian official says five of the 10 people found alive inside an avalanche-covered hotel have been pulled out. https://t.co/PshzFWPsC8
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 20, 2017
— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) January 20, 2017
Italy avalanche: Survivor tells of 58-hour ordeal https://t.co/cji8uOkTVF
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 22, 2017
The update on the survivors come after first reports by the media estimated that only between 5-8 people were alive.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 20, 2017
One survivor described the harrowing scene to Italian reporters:
Giorgia, a student, was sitting on a coach in the lobby of the hotel with her fiance, Vincenzo Forti, 25, when the avalanche hit.
“Everything crumbled and I could not understand a thing,” she told Italy’s Corriere della Sera.
When she came round, she realised that the lobby had turned into a dome with four caverns.
She thought the hotel had been displaced and planted deeper into the earth.
“It was pitch dark. Not a sound came from outside. Our voices echoed.”
She heard a woman who called for her fiance, and another man from Rome who had injured his arm and was in pain. A mother who had her boy with her and hugged him close whilst calling out to locate her daughter.
After 58 long hours trapped, surviving by eating ice, she finally heard rescuers coming. When she heard human voices, she replied “I am Georgia, and I am alive.”
“It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever said.”
The rescue effort has been hampered by poor weather. From the Guardian:
The search has included sending sound-sensitive instruments down into snow-crusted debris. Rescuers passed crates full ofhardened snow and ice to colleagues as they tried to penetrate deeper into the wreckage, creating the equivalent of elevator shafts to allow searchers to descend into the smashed hotel.
Searchers also used devices that could pick up any electronic waves emitted by cell phones of the missing, said Walter Milan, a spokesman for the alpine rescuers.
That voices have not been heard lately does not mean no one is still alive, he said, explaining “we know that thick walls and snow isolates” possible voices.
On Wednesday of this week the Avalanche struck after the country had experienced four earthquakes that were at a magnitude of 5.
The traumatic experience within itself has left many people uneasy but has also put focus on the importance of small blessings.
A little girl by the name of Ludovica was pulled out of the rubble on Friday and she had one thing on her mind, according to the Associated Press story. And that was for a chocolate-and-vanilla cookie that goes by the name of Ringo in Italy.
The girl’s father, Giampiero Parete, his wife, Adriana, and their son Gianfilippo were all rescued earlier.
In the initial reports from the middle of this week, it appeared that only two people out of the estimated thirty had survived.