Saved after a week buried in Haiti rubble

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Another miracle happened in Haiti yesterday when rescuers hauled a 25-year-old woman out of the earthquake rubble after she survived for a week without food or water and was barely able to move.

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Another miracle happened in Haiti yesterday when rescuers hauled a 25-year-old woman out of the earthquake rubble after she survived for a week without food or water and was barely able to move.

Hoteline Losana, 25, became the latest of Haiti's miracle survivors. Despite US military warnings that the operation would shift focus to the recovery of thousands of bodies, rescuers kept up the work for survivors like Losana, who defied the deadly odds.

"She is conscious and in good form," said Thiery Cerdan of the French NGO Rescuers Without Borders, which carried out the nine-hour rescue operation with Haitian firemen and American experts.

Hours earlier a South African team, working with their Mexican counterparts, had pulled out an elderly woman, Anna Zizi, 69, alive and singing from the rubble of Haiti's Roman Catholic cathedral, a full week after a killer quake tore the building to the ground.

Losana had been in an apartment over a supermarket when the 7,0-magnitude quake struck on January 12. The rescuers said she had no food or water, could barely move, and owed her survival to the place in which she was stuck.

"We pulled someone out seven days after an earthquake, that is extraordinary," said Bruno Besson, another member of the team.

Rescue workers wept and hugged each other as the woman, caked in debris and dust, was placed on a makeshift stretcher, put on a drip, covered with a heat-conserving wrap and driven by truck to a hospital, witnesses said.

"It was an amazing thing to witness, no one could believe she was still alive. It seems rescuers were communicating with her and managed to get water to her through a tube. She was singing when she emerged. Everyone clapped and cheered," said Sarah Wilson, of British charity Christian Aid.

Zizi was rescued by Mexican firefighters and South African rescuers on Tuesday at about 3.30pm, two-hours short of a full week after the quake devastated the capital.

Her rescue gave hope to rescue workers still digging for survivors, where the stench of crushed and decomposing corpses filled the air.

Yesterday the UN said Losana and Zizi were among 121 people who had been rescued in the past week and there was still hope of finding more alive. - Sapa-AFP

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