Of­fi­cial: Searchers find body in town hit by hur­ri­cane

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

MEX­ICO BEACH, Fla. — Search and res­cue teams have found a body in the Florida Pan­han­dle town nearly wiped out by Hur­ri­cane Michael, and author­i­ties said there is lit­tle doubt the death toll will rise fur­ther.

The tally of lives lost across the South stood at 14, in­clud­ing the vic­tim found in the rub­ble of Mex­ico Beach.

Mi­ami Fire Chief Joseph Zahral­ban, leader of a search-and-res­cue unit that en­tered the dev­as­tated com­mu­nity, said: “We have one con­firmed de­ceased and are work­ing to de­ter­mine if there are oth­ers.”

Zahral­ban said searchers, who were us­ing a trained dog, were try­ing to de­ter­mine if that per­son had been alone or was part of a fam­ily.

He spoke Fri­day as his team was wind­ing down its two-day search of Mex­ico Beach, the town of about 1,000 peo­ple that was nearly oblit­er­ated by Mic­a­hel’s storm surge and dev­as­tat­ing 155 mph winds when the Cat­e­gory 4 hur­ri­cane made land­fall Wed­nes­day.

Michael was one of the most pow­er­ful hurricanes to ever make land­fall in the U.S., and this Gulf Coast com­mu­nity of about 1,000 peo­ple was in its bulls­eye. While most res­i­dents fled ahead of the storm’s ar­rival, oth­ers stayed to face the hur­ri­cane. Some barely es­caped with their lives as homes were pushed off their foun­da­tions and whole neigh­bor­hoods be­came sub­merged.

Hec­tor Morales, a 57-yearold restau­rant cook, never even thought of evac­u­at­ing. His mo­bile home wasn’t on the beach but when it sud­denly be­gan float­ing dur­ing the hur­ri­cane, he jumped out and swam to a fish­ing boat and clam­bered aboard.

“I lost ev­ery­thing,” Morales said. “... But I made it.”

How many oth­ers were not so for­tu­nate was still not clear.

State of­fi­cials said that by one count, 285 peo­ple in Mex­ico Beach de­fied manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­ders and stayed be­hind. Though it’s un­clear if any of those got out at the last minute or had suc­cess­fully rid­den out the storm.

Emer­gency of­fi­cials said they had com­pleted an ini­tial “hasty search” of the dev­as­ta­tion, look­ing for the liv­ing or the dead, and had be­gun more care­ful in­spec­tions of thou­sands of ru­ined build­ings. They hope to com­plete those in­spec­tions later to­day.

They’ve re­ceived thou­sands of calls ask­ing about miss­ing peo­ple, but with cell­phone ser­vice out across a wide area, they found it im­pos­si­ble to know who among those un­ac­counted for were safe but just un­able to dial out to friends or fam­ily.

Mean­while, Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency chief Brock Long said he ex­pects the death toll will rise. “We still haven’t got­ten into the hard­esthit ar­eas,” he said, adding with frus­tra­tion: “Very few peo­ple live to tell what it’s like to ex­pe­ri­ence storm surge, and un­for­tu­nately in this coun­try we seem to not learn the les­son.”

BEI­JING — With China and the United States open­ing the door to a meet­ing next month be­tween Pres­i­dents Xi Jin­ping and Don­ald Trump, hopes are ris­ing for a po­ten­tial eas­ing of ten­sions in the trade war be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

Wor­ries about the in­creased tar­iffs the two sides have im­posed on each other’s goods con­trib­uted to a dizzy­ing bout of volatil­ity in fi­nan­cial mar­kets this week. The higher tar­iffs raise costs for com­pa­nies in both coun­tries, and econ­o­mists say that if they re­main in place in­def­i­nitely, they could de­press eco­nomic growth.

A Xi-Trump meet­ing, if it hap­pens, would take place dur­ing a sum­mit of lead­ers of the Group of 20 big­gest global economies in Ar­gentina in late Novem­ber.

“I don’t think any de­ci­sion has been made in re­gards to a meet­ing,” Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin told re­porters Satur­day in Bali, In­done­sia, where he’s at­tend­ing global fi­nance meet­ings.

Still, Larry Kud­low, Trump’s top eco­nomic ad­viser, said in Washington on Fri­day that prepa­ra­tions for the talks were un­der way.

Trump vows to un­earth truth about Khashoggi dis­ap­pear­ance

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump de­clared Fri­day the U.S. will un­cover the truth about what hap­pened to jour­nal­ist and U.S. res­i­dent Ja­mal Khashoggi, whose pos­si­ble mur­der at Saudi hands af­ter dis­ap­pear­ing in Is­tan­bul has cap­tured world­wide at­ten­tion. Trump promised to per­son­ally call Saudi Ara­bia’s King Sal­man soon about “the ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion in Turkey.”

“We’re go­ing to find out what hap­pened,” Trump pledged when ques­tioned by re­porters in Cincin­nati where he was head­lin­ing a po­lit­i­cal rally.

Khashoggi, a force­ful critic of the Saudi gov­ern­ment, went miss­ing more than a week ago af­ter en­ter­ing a Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, and Turk­ish of­fi­cials have said they believe he was mur­dered there.

U.S. of­fi­cials say they are seek­ing an­swers from the Saudi gov­ern­ment and are not yet ac­cept­ing the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment’s con­clu­sions.

The Saudis have called ac­cu­sa­tions that they are re­spon­si­ble for Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance “base­less.”

Widely broad­cast video shows the 59-year-old writer and Washington Post con­trib­u­tor en­ter­ing the con­sulate on Tues­day of last week, but there is none show­ing him leav­ing.

De­fen­dant lunges for of­fi­cer’s gun in Ore­gon court­room

NEW­PORT, Ore. — Video shows a dra­matic Ore­gon court­room scuf­fle in which a de­fen­dant lunges for a po­lice of­fi­cer’s gun.

The Ore­go­nian/Ore­gonLive re­ports a judge had de­nied a re­quest by deputies to re­strain 27-year-old Scott Lem­mon in court Wed­nes­day. In the video, Lem­mon

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