Colombia: A Miracle in the Mud

A Miracle in the Mud

When Alberto Nunez returned to the remains of his home near the devastated town of Armero last week, he was startled to see smoke curling from the earthen hut of one of his neighbors, Maria Rosa Elvira Echeverry, 66. A closer look revealed a miracle. Twenty-four days after mudslides triggered by the volcanic eruption of Nevado del Ruiz had laid waste to the town and killed 23,000 people, there was Echeverry, safe and relatively sound, in her partially mud-covered house. She had survived on a diet of cracked barley, raw sugar and rice.

Only days before Nunez discovered her, the destitute...

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