Friday, September 24, 2004
"Good News for Tortuga Island; But Still Deadly"
Sep 24, 2004, 23:11
"Although a tragic and deadly catastrophe has in fact occurred, the latest news sheds light on a better ending for Tortuga Island.
"Having gathered several news sources, the task of putting a puzzle together has taken place. The original confirmation as reported by several international news agencies, some of which were provided in the last ECTV newsletter, was authentic and based on eyewitness reports. The main source of those reports came from two United Nations helicopter crews who were dispatched to assess the damage to Tortuga caused by hurricane ‘Jeanne’. When they made their first few flybys, all they could see was washed out land. Or perhaps better put, no land at all. It has been reported the broadcast which came over the UN radio was (parts may be lost in translation) “the island is gone. I can only see large waves”.
"As this UN tandem helicopter crew continued aerial surveillance, bodies were seen floating in the water. It may have been hundreds washed away by high winds and tsunami like waves. It is not hard to see how this tandem crew put two and two together to complete a visual, and make their report as posted by several news agencies including ECTV.
"What was officially reported by UN representatives was based on the above observations. So indeed, it looked to them as though the Island of Tortuga had vanished, and all its 26,000 inhabitants were gone. The not so good news is that in fact, thousands have died, many of which were seen floating in the waters around Tortuga and Haiti. The search & rescue operation continues."
When I first heard about Tortuga Island last night, the thought that 26,000 people could cease to exist was horrifying. Then came confirmation from six (6) foreign newspapers confirming the worst, that the island had disappeared. Now we have reports that though the island has been devastated by Hurrican Jeanne, it still exists. I pray the story ends here. When so many of us living so close to the coast, it is miraculous that we have avoided such a huge disaster.
Here's the link to the Belfast Telegraph