Amazing Stories of Survival
In the wake of natural disasters there is always heartache, devastation and death, but there is also hope. Here are some amazing stories of survival.

Found Alive After Nearly Four Weeks

Nearly four weeks after a catastrophic 7.0-magnitude earthquake decimated Haiti on Jan. 12, a 28-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of a market in Port-au-Prince. Emaciated and disoriented, the man has been admitted to the University of Miami's field hospital in the capital, adjacent to the airport, according to hospital officials.

It isn't clear how long the man, whose name is Evan Muncie, was trapped, the officials said. The man appeared disoriented; he said someone had brought him water while he was trapped.

Dr. Dushyantha Jayaweera, of the University of Miami field hospital, said it was plausible that Muncie had been buried since the quake.

“It is unusual, but not impossible. He was quite dehydrated and he was wasted, so there are certain things that suggest that it's true," Jayaweera said.

His family told hospital staff they believed the man was dead.


Pulled From Rubble After 15 Days

More than two weeks after the earthquake struck Haiti, neighbors of 17-year-old Darlene Etienne heard a voice calling from the rubble of a home. They called authorities, who brought in the French civil response team. Soon after, rescuers pulled Etienne from the rubble. She was dehydrated, had a broken leg and was moments from death. 

"She's alive!" said paramedic Paul Francois-Valette, who accompanied her into the hospital. Experts say it is rare for anyone to survive more than 72 hours without water, let alone more than two weeks. But Etienne may have had some access to water from a bathroom of the collapsed home, and rescuers said she mumbled something about having a little Coca-Cola with her in the rubble. 

"We thought she was dead," her cousin, Jocelyn A. St. Jules, said in a telephone call with The Associated Press.


Survived Under Collapsed Shopping Mall

Park Sung-Hyun, a sales clerk who was 19 years old at the time, became trapped under a collapsed shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea in 1995. Miraculously, she was rescued after being buried inside a cave in the rubble for 16 days. 

The 5-story mall came crashing down with more than 1,500 shoppers and employees inside. More than 500 people were killed and at least 900 others were injured. The disaster was blamed on shoddy construction.


Tsunami Survivor

When the 2004 tsunami roared out of the Indian Ocean, it sucked hundreds of people out to sea including Ari Afrizal, who was 21 at the time. He was building a house with friends when the massive waves came rolling in. 

Lucky for him, he was able to grab on to some debris, and for the next two weeks he lived on a leaky fishing boat and a makeshift raft, eating coconuts. Fifteen days after the tsunami struck, a container ship spotted the makeshift raft, and plucked Afrizal from the water. 


Hurricane Pauline

In 1997, one of the strongest and deadliest hurricanes made landfall in Mexico. Hurricane Pauline worked its way up the Mexican coastline, dumping 16-inches of rain in the resort town of Acapulco. 

The massive storm killed several hundred people and left an estimated 300,000 others homeless. Fifteen days after the massive storm hit Mexico, a 32-year-old fisherman, his brother and his niece were rescued from their dinghy after surviving on raw fish and a bottle of water.

Pulled From Quake-Devastated Hotel

In 1990, a powerful earthquake struck the Philippines, causing destruction across the landscape. One of the hardest hit areas was the popular tourist destination of Baguio City, where the earthquake caused the collapse of nearly 30 buildings, including hotels. One of those hotels was the prominent Hyatt Terrace Hotel. 

At least 80 hotel employees and guests were killed, but there were three amazing stories of survival. Eleven days after the building collapsed, a hotel maid and a security guard were pulled from the rubble, and a hotel cook, Pedrito Dy, was found alive 14 days later. It's reported that all three survived in part by drinking their urine.

Mount Hood Survivors

In 1976, Randy Knapp and two friends set out to climb Oregon’s Mount Hood, and they ended up trapped on the mountain by wind and snow. They tried to descend the mountain, but they lost their way and quickly realized a snow cave was their only hope for survival. Knapp and his friends hunkered down and lived off the slush inside the snow cave, which provided them with a source of water. 

On the 13th day, they emerged from the snow cave and climbed 500 feet up to a ridge line where they spotted a search party. In 2006, Knapp talked about the ordeal. 

"We were more worried about our families than we were about our own situation because we knew we were OK," he said. "We were cold, but we knew that we were going to make it out."


"Miracle Babies"

In 1985, Mexico City was rocked by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake that killed thousands of people and destroyed much of the city. But in the midst of all the chaos, a story of hope arose from the rubble of a collapsed hospital. 

More than a week after the quake hit, nearly all of the newborn babies, who were in the nursery at the time of the earthquake, were pulled out of the wreckage. Miraculously, most of them were unscathed, although many of them had lost their mothers. As a result, these babies came to be known as the “Miracle Babies.�

Amazing Stories of Survival

In the wake of natural disasters there is always heartache, devastation and death, but there is also hope. Here are some amazing stories of survival.

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