perm filename QUAKE.AP[NET,GUE] blob sn#016387 filedate 1972-12-24 generic text, type T, neo UTF8
 Rescue Bjt 490
Associated Press Writer
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - At 30 minutes after midnight Saturday morning,
the ''whole world'' seemed to fall in on Allen Pope as he sat in a
crumbling nightclub in earthquake-wracked Managua, Nicaragua.
    Pope, a 44-year-old Miami longshoreman vacationing in the Central
American capital, spent the rest of the morning digging through
debris with three other Americans. Together they rescued 10 trapped
    ''I was in the nightclub and about the time the vocalist started to
sing, there was a violent shake and the ceiling came down,'' Pope
said after his return here. ''It lasted about 5 to 10 seconds
but it seemed like an eternity.''
    ''Everybody thought it was their time to die, I know I did,''
he said.
    But Pope scrambled out of the building and rushed
downtown to the Gran Hotel, a five-story building where he and a
group of friends were staying. The top floors had crumbled by the
time he arrived.
    He ran to the second floor and kicked in the door of his room.
    ''When I kicked in the door, the wall collapsed and if I'd been in
bed I would have been crushed,'' he said. Pope then picked up a
flashlight and set out to see what he could do to help.
    He rounded up Tom Waddell, a lumber salesman from Mississippi,
and a duster pilot, James Adams from Opaloosa, La. A third man from
San Francisco, whose name Pope didn't get, joined them later.
    They first set to work on an elevator. Inside a young woman
was crying for help.
    ''It was absolutely pitch black, the building was collapsing
around us and there were fires breaking out in the streets,''
he said. ''We worked with two saws that a couple of kitchen
boys brought us.''
    Pope said the rescue team heard another woman screaming in Spanish
from the third floor.
    ''We had a devil of a time getting to her,'' he related. ''The
upper floors were collapsed and we had to scale up the outside from
the second floor.''
    But the woman refused to come out.
    ''Apparently she was partly clad and didn't want us to see her,''
Pope said. ''Isn't that something? But we got her out anyway.''
    In the dark, without tools, the three Americans and two Nicaraguan
workers continued their search, only calling it quits at 9 a.m. when
no one was left inside.
    ''I guess we dragged out about 10 people, including a baby,''
Pope said. ''Those guys really stuck their necks out all night - 
going in and out of the hotel while it was cracking up.
    ''As a result a few more lives were saved,'' he added.
    Outside the hotel there was panic - cars and motorcycles running
into each other. Later, there was some looting, Pope said.
    ''But when you walked down the streets every home you saw was
collapsed,'' he said. ''Virtually the whole city was demolished.''
1254pES 12-24

    MIAMI Rescue Bjt a210 in 8th graf read: Opelousas, La. . . . etc.
Not Opaloosa.
    The AP
1756pES 12-24

    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - At 30 minutes after midnight Saturday morning,
the ''whole world'' seemed to fall in on Allen Pope as he sat in a
crumbling nightclub in earthquake-wracked Managua, Nicaragua.
    Pope, a 44-year-old Miami longshoreman vacationing in the Central
ose awful cakes and
pastries'' and sipped champagne only on special occasions.
    His wife, Margaret, died in 1965 after 47 yea219
 Christmas Roundup Bjt 260
With Wirephotos
    The shadows of manmade war and nature's wrath darken the
path of Christians this year as they celebrate the festival of
Christ's birth. But the message of Christmas, as always, is
of faith and hope - and of joy to millions spared the blows
of bomb and quake.
    Pope Paul VI spoke for much of the world Sunday as he voiced
his anguish at the lack of peace in Vietnam, where there was
a 24-hour halt in bombing.
    Nicaragua was trying to pick up the pieces of an earthquake
that left thousands dead and thousands more suffering in the
wreckage of Managua. Many in the Nicaraguan capital were destined
to spend their Christmas Day digging out the dead and mourning
kinfolk and friends.
    Peace pervaded the Holy Land where the story of Christmas
began, but Israeli troops with tommy guns walked the streets
of Bethlehem lest guerrillas strike at Christian pilgrims.
Yet there was a sign of the kinship of man: an Arab band played
''O Come All Ye Faithful'' as ceremonies began in Manger Square.
    Pope Paul, for the fourth time in a week, spoke out against
war. He addressed 2,000 persons who braved the rain and cold
of St. Peter's Square to receive his blessing Sunday noon.
    He expressed sorrow over the deaths in Managua and voiced
hope for successful negotiations soon in Vietnam.
    ''Today is Christmas Eve,'' the Pope said, ''but we have our
heart in anguish. The lack of peace has become a passion for
the entire world.''
1325pES 12-24

 Christmas Rdp ADD
    UNDATED Christmas Rdp Bjt a219 add: world.''

    The pontiff welcomed Christmas Day by celebrating midnight
Mass with miners digging a railroad tunnel 31 miles north
of Rome. He prayed for an end to war, violence and intrigue
and for ''a new way of being men.''
1934pES 12-24


 Cuba-Nicaragua 150
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - Cuba announced Sunday it was sending medical
supplies, blood plasma and doctor-nurse teams into
earthquake-devastated Nicaragua, one of the Fidel Castro
government's most bitter enemies.
    Radio Havana, monitored in Miami, said the Cuban government
had decided to ignore ''the existing situation with the government
of Nicaragua'' and send aid for humanitarian reasons.
    The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was launched from Puerto
Cabezas, Nicaragua, in April 1961, with the blessing of then
President Anastasio Somoza. Since then, Cuban Prime Minister
Castro has frequently criticized the ruling Somoza family and
called for its downfall.
    Havana radio emphasized that the Cuban assistance was being
offered to the Nicaraguan people, as distinct from that Central
American republic's government.
1327pES 12-24


Earthquake Bjt 480, 2 takes
With Wirephotos
Associated Press Writer
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Managua, smashed by two powerful
earthquakes and more than a score of tremors, was ordered
evacuated Sunday. Thousands of survivors had fled the shambles
of the capital city before the government ordered the evacuation
in a broadcast.
    Rescuers searched for more bodies amid smouldering ruins.
The government radio officially estimated the death total to be
5,000 to 10,000, but no one could accurately predict the loss
of life.
    The quakes shattered 70 per cent of the city of 300,000 on Saturday
and left many persons entombed in wreckage.
    At least 36 square blocks of the central business district
were in rubble, as if a giant hand had smashed them. Tons
of food and other supplies were being flown in from around
the world.
    Injured people, sitting stunned on curbstones or walking
around in a daze, were being attended to in parks, on sidewalks
and at the airport.
    Many bodies still lay in the streets Sunday as rescuers worked
around the clock trying to identify the dead and filling large
common graves.
    Thousands of bodies were lined up on the banks of Lake Managua.
With few coffins available, sometimes as many as three people
were buried in the same casket.
    The Red Cross said common graves were necessary because the
sultry, tropical climate would speed decomposition and increase
the danger of typhoid and tetanus.
    Except for a satellite ground station outside Managua, the
city's telephone communication with the outside was cut off.
    Electricity and water service were knocked out. Fires continued
to burn Sunday, but the government said they were under control.
    Those able to leave were ordered to evacuate the panic-stricken
city partly because of the possible contamination of drinking
water. An estimated 200,000 persons were left homeless.
    Temporary hospitals were set up on highways leading from the
city. Those passing by stopped to help injured relatives and
to mourn the dead left behind.
    Howard Hughes, the U.S. billionaire who reportedly had been
staying in the Hotel Intercontinental when the quake hit,
was said to have left town for an unknown destination. The
ninth floor of the modern, pyramid-shaped hotel had shifted
like a layer cake.
    At the municipal jail between the center of town and the
airport, 20 of 500 prisoners were killed and 20 were injured.
The dead were placed in the prison courtyard in hopes relatives
would identify them.
    ''If relatives don' come soon, we'll just dig a hole and
bury them,'' said Lt. Jose Antonio Martinez.
1448pES 12-24

 MANAGUA Take 2 Earthquake Bjt: Martinez. 330
    The American-Nicaraguan high school was leaning at a 45-degree
    Planes from the United States Europe and Latin America brought
more than 100 tons of blood plasma, food, clothes and other
    A pledge of assistance was phoned from Key Biscayne, Fla.,
by President Nixon, who told Gen. Anastasio Somoza, the country's
military strongman, that ''our thoughts and prayers'' were
with the victims.
    In Washington, the Agency for International Development, which
is coordinating U.S. relief efforts, warned against sending
unsolicited goods to the stricken nation. It advised making
cash contributions to local voluntary organizations.
    Planes were having to land at Managua without the aid of
the control tower, which was not operating as a result of
the earthquake.
    Water had to be brought in from Mexico. Food was running
low and some stores raised their prices while some families
shared their food with others. Milk, which usually sells for
27 cents a quart, was being sold Christmas Eve for $1.
    The city was under martial law, and the National Guard warned
that persons who tried looting would become targets.
    ''Women and men ran in the streets with shoes, cloth and
many other products taken from the remains of the destroyed
stores,'' said Marias Elena de Gomez, a Colombian girl who
escaped injury.
    The devastation was so severe that many damaged buildings
will have to be leveled. In Panama, the U.S. Southern Command
announced that a team of demolition experts with 2,000 pounds of
explosives left Sunday for Managua.
    The explosives were to be used to demolish weakened buildings
that are in danger of falling. Many buildings were still standing
Sunday, but some were falling as trucks and tanks rumbled past.
1456pES 12-24

 Quake ADD 280
    MANAGUA Earthquake Bjt a236-37 add: past. 
    The largest quake measured between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale.
    Many of the victims were believed to be children of poor
families who lived in rickety wooden or old masonry buildings
near the center of the city.
    Earl Moore, 59, an American hunting guide who owns a camp
near Managua, flew to Miami from Managua on Saturday night and
said 60 to 80 per cent of the homes and buildings were destroyed,
with the exception of modern bank buildings.
    Bulldozers were plowing through the ruins trying to reach
survivors perhaps buried underneath.
    Four U.S. Air Force C130s and C123 began taking off before
dawn Sunday from the Panama Canal Zone. They carried 60,000
pounds of supplies, including water purifying tablets, plasma,
antibiotics, antitetanus shots, tents, a portable X-ray machine,
stretchers, cots and a resuscitator.
    Also in the relief supplies were 15 400-gallon water trailers,
three water pumps, 30 portable radios, and flashlights and
hand lanterns.
    At least 42,000 pounds of supplies from Panama were flown
out Saturday.
    A 24-bed hospital from McDill Air Force Base, Fla., was flown
Saturday to Managua, and a 100-bed evacuation hospital is
to be transported on Christmas Day From Ft. Hood, Tex.
    At least 145 men of a U.S. Army engineers outfit were standing
by to be flown to the stricken city if needed to help in clearing
    Already in Managua were 67 U.S. military personnel, including
medical, surgical, sanitation and supply experts.
1501pES 12-24


 Nixon 330, 2 takes 510
    KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - President Nixon telephoned the ruler of
earthquake-stricken Nicaragua on Sunday, pledged any assistance to
his people and said, ''Our thoughts and prayers are with them this
Christmas season.''
    As the chief executive and his wife spent a quiet holiday weekend
in their gaily decorated bayside villa, sources also reported he had
ordered a Christmas pause in the bombardment of North Vietnam.
    The sources indicated that the bombing would be resumed, but
wouldn't say when. Informed sources in Saigon, however, indicated
that the bombing would resume Monday night.
    The Saigon sources said raids were continuing against Communist
supply lines in Laos during the suspension.
    The call to Gen. Anastasio Somoza, military strongman of
Nicaragua, was made over a special telephone-radio hook-up
while the general was touring areas hard-hit by the earthquake.
    ''The President extended the sympathy of the American people
to the people of Nicaragua and offered any assistance possible
. . . in their efforts to recover from the tragic earthquake,''
a White House spokesman said.
    ''The President said that all the American people were sympathic
to the people of Nicaragua and that the American people feel
very close to Nicaragua because of our association over the
years,'' the spokesman added. ''The President said our thoughts
and prayers were with them at this Christmas season.''
    Somoza expressed gratitude for U.S. assistance, the spokesman said.
    In addition to his conversation with Somoza, aides said Nixon
talked by telephone with foreign affairs adviser Henry Kissinger
in Washington.
    They presumably discussed the temporary cessation of air
raids on North Vietnam, as well as a statement by North Vietnamese
negotiator Xuan Thuy in a television interview that peace
talks cannot continue so long as the United States is bombing
above the 20th parallel.
1507pES 12-24

 KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. Take 2 Nixon: parallel. 180
    Nixon's favorite football team, the Washington Redskins, played
the Green Bay Packers in a professional playoff game and it seemed
certain the President viewed at least part of the game. He was not,
however, able to watch Sunday's second playoff game, Miami vs.
Cleveland, because of a local television blackout.
    The Nixons' living room has an eight-foot Scotch pine Christmas
tree purchased in Key Biscayne. The tree is decorated with
Christmas ornaments and small white lights. A number of poinsetta
plants, red and white carnations and red azalea plants are
placed around the living room.
    The President and First Lady will exchange gifts Christmas morning
as is their traditon, a spokesman said, then have Christmas dinner
that evening. The menu is turkey stuffed with wild rice, mashed
potatoes, green peas, giblet gravy, hearts of palm salad with
tomatoes and baked Alaska.
    The Nixon's only Christmas guest will be their next-door neighbor,
banker C. G. (Bebe) Rebozo. Their daughters, Julie and Tricia, are
spending Christmas with their husbands in Athens, Greece.
1511pES 12-24

 Nixon ADD
    KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., Nixon a240-241 add: Greece.

    Rebozo joined the Nixons for their Christmas Eve dinner and a
10-minute after-dinner drive to look at Christmas lights in their
Key Biscayne neighborhood.
2113pES 12-24


 Hughes-With Quake 310
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - The earthquake that struck Managua has
propelled billionaire Howard Hughes from his hideaway in Nicaragua's
capital, a Hughes spokesman said Sunday.
    But as with the past comings and goings of the elusive
industrialist, no one was saying where he had gone - or even if he
had gotten there.
    Spokesman Dick Hannah reported that Hughes, who once objected to
nuclear testing in Nevada because he feared it might cause
earthquakes, had left Managua, his locale after earlier secluded
stays in Las Vegas, Nev., the Bahamas and Vancouver, B. C.
    Hughes and his staff left Managua sometime early Sunday, Hannah
said, adding that all members of the Hughes party were unharmed.
    Hannah said Hughes, who turned 67 Sunday, had probably arrived at
his destination, but because of his swift departure, there was ''no
place set up for him right away.''
    Hughes and his staff had been living in the Intercontinental
Hotel, which was damaged in the series of quakes that struck the
city early Saturday, leaving thousands feared dead.
    It was doubted Hughes would return to the United States because
of possible legal difficulties involving his past and present
financial empire. Complicated lawsuits involving Hughes date
back to the time he owned Trans World Airlines, and more recently
he refused to return to Nevada despite subpoenas involving
the firing of his chief aide who oversaw his Nevada holdings.
    Hughes was last seen publicly in 1953. In a telephone news
conference last year, however, a voice identified as that of Hughes'
promised an end to the seclusion and a return to a more normal life.
    But there has been no indication in the last year that Hughes
is changing his lifestyle.
    After vanishing from his penthouse in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving
eve of 1970, Hughes flew to the Bahamas. In February 1972, he went
to Nicaragua, took up residence a month later in a Vancouver hotel,
and shortly thereafter returned to Nicaragua. 
1634pES 12-24


 With Quake 390
Associated Press Writer
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - ''The movement stopped and I thought
that if I was going to die I ought to at least make a struggle
first,'' a California resident said Sunday in recounting the six
hours she was trapped in debris after the earthquake in Managua.
    Vera Hernandez, an attractive black-haired woman from San
Jose, Calif., said, ''I felt the hotel moving. When I thought
it was going to stop, the ceiling fell, and I was pinned under it.
    ''The only feeling I had then was a desire to go to sleep.
Then the movement stopped and I thought that if I was going
to die I ought to at least make a struggle first.
    ''I heard some women crying for help and some men trying to get
them out. I called to the men. They answered and tried to help me,
but the debris was too much for them and they couldn't move it.
    ''I kept struggling and found some cracks and was able to
pull some stuff away. I lowered myself to the floor below
and the porter helped me escape,'' she said.
    Miss Hernandez said she had been on an eight-week tour of
South America but extended her trip to include a stop in Managua.
She stayed at the Grand Hotel in Managua.
    Miss Hernandez would not give her age or address, but said
she walked in the mayor's office at San Jose.
    Her story was only one of many in this devastated city.
    James Robert Adams of Opelousas, La., a crop duster working
in Nicaragua, also was at the Grand Hotel. He said he saw
a nightclub across the street cave in and kill several people.
    At the Managua General Hospital, where a U.S. Army medical team set
up a treatment center, the patients were all on the ground outside
the hospital because inside there was nothing but death and debris.
    Dr. Carlos Jose Giron Romer, director of the hospital, said
12 bodies had been found inside and assumed there were more.
    Patients, wrapped in bloodstained sheets, lay on the ground
outside. Plasma bottles attached to their arms hung from tree
    ''It is impossible to know the death toll,'' he said. ''We know of
800 confirmed dead because we have buried that many. The final toll
will probably go from 5,000 to 8,000, but no one really knows.''
    Dr. Pedro Green was operating under the trees on a deep head
wound and hardly looked up as an aftershock rolled through
the city causing the hospital to shake again.
1645pES 12-24

 With Quake ADD 160
MANAGUA With Quake a263 add: again.

    About 90 American citizens were evacuated Sunday on U.S. military
planes returning home after bringing aid and medical supplies.
    Two Americans were known to have died. Embassy officials said
it was possible more might be buried in the rubble of hotels.
    One of the American dead was Rose Marie Orlich, 34, of
Philadelphia, the ambassador's secretary. The other was identified
tentatively as Valerie or Virginia Slaughter of Los Angeles, a
tourist who apparently arrived in Managua the day before the quake.
    Several Americans injured but, most were evacuated immediately
to hospitals in the Panama Canal Zone.
    Carol Morgan of St. Joseph, Mo., another embassy employe
was slightly injured when she fell from the second fllor of
the embassy apartment complex as the earthquake hit. She was
trapped briefly in the rubble and was pulled free by Marine guareds.
    ''God bless the Marines,'' she said before being evacuated to
Washington. ''If they hadn't helped me out I would still be there.''
2033pES 12-24


 Brief-With Earthquake 350
    MIAMI, Fla. (AP) - Touched by the plight of Nicaraguan earthquake
victims, Miami's Latin community has responded with cash,
medical supplies, food, clothing and volunteer workers.
    ''We've collected $31,000 in cash so far,'' said a spokesman
for Spanish-language radio station WFAB. ''One man even donated
a whole portable power plant with a radio broadcasting system.''
    Four truckloads of clothes were brought in from various churc mi00022$wwa2$!J!A'it's just been terrific,'' the spokesman said.
    ''In fact, there have been so many people coming by the station
we've had to call for a traffic cop,'' he said.
    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Rev. William F. Brewer Jr., hustled his wife
and four children onto an Air Force transport plane Sunday and
returned from Managua, Nicaragua, saying the earthquake was a sign
from God.
    ''God has revealed to me that we were better off in Texas,''
said the missionary. ''It was a sign from God that I could
do my work best someplace else.''
    Brewer was one of 21 Americans and 8 British nationals
who were airlifted out of shattered the Central American capital
Sunday morning in an Air Force cargo plane.
    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Barbara Young 31, of Brooklyn, N. Y., was
recovering from giving birth to a son when an earthquake shook apart
a Managua, Nicaragua, hospital on Saturday.
    ''I awakened at the first quake and a portable closet fell
on top of me,'' she said on her return here Sunday.
    Mrs. David rushed to the nursery, found her 2-day-old son
David lying in a crib near a window. Dozens of other infants
were crying but none appeared injured.
    Outside the walkway was cracked and a broken water tower
on the roof of the hospital gushed onto the stairway. But
Mrs. Young, dressed in an nightgown with a baby clutched to
her chest, managed to get down to the ground.
    ''I was drenched and so was the baby,'' she said. ''I just
sat down on the front steps and waited from my husband.''
    John Young, 34, a fruit company manager, arrived and took
his wife to safety two hours later, she said.
1805pES 12-24

 Brief-With Earthquake CORRECTION
    TAMPA Brief-With Earthquake, a281, third item, 3rd graf, read:
    Mrs. Young rushed. Sted Mrs. David.
    The AP
1858pES 12-24


 Earthquake Bjt Lead 490
Associated Press Writer
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - Authorities ordered the evacuation
Sunday of this Central American capital, reduced to shambles
by earthquakes that killed up to 10,000 persons.
    Minor aftershocks stirred weakened structures still standing
in the city which was 70 per cent destroyed by quakes and
resulting fires. Scarce water was feared in danger of contamination.
    The government radio, operating on an emergency generator,
officially estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 of the city's 300,000
residents were killed, but no one could give a more exact figure.
Rescue workers searched the rubble for bodies and survivors.
    ''This is a terrible catastrophe,'' Gen. Anastasio Samoza,
the country's strongman leader, told a newsman.
    Scores of mercy flights with help and supplies from the United
States and other countries have been made to Managua since
early Saturday, when the strongest quake hit.
    Somoza said President Nixon called him Sunday morning to
express condolences.
    ''We are greatly appreciative of the U.S. assitance and the
U.S. help, but we need more than just treating the people,''
Somoza said. Referring to Nixon, he added: ''I'd like him to help
us rebuild the capital.''
    People poured out of Managua on foot, on horses and mules, and
some in buses. A gasoline shortage limited motor transportation.
    The U.S. Army sent a demolition team with a ton of explosives
to blast dangerous structures.
    Some buildings were so shaky that vibrations from passing
trucks brought them down.
    In the streets, national guard patrols had orders to shoot
looters on sight.
    At the city's damaged central hospital, patients lay on the
ground in bloodstained sheets, bottles of plasma hung from
tree branches and surgeons operated on a makeshift table in
the open air.
    The most destructive quake was about 12:40 a.m. Saturday.
    ''It didn't take long until terrible fires lit the whole
town,'' said Ricardo Gomez, a Colombian soccer coach working
in Nicaragua. ''Soon the gasoline blasts started and the sky
was lit as if by firesworks. . .
    ''We saw heroic scenes, such as a man with his bloody face
and burned arms rescuing six of his children.''
    Uriel Gutierrez, an ambulance driver who helped take the injured
to makeshift hospitals, described one of many death scenes:
    ''There were about 80 persons dancing in the fashionable
Plaza cabaret. All of them were killed. Couples were found
together as if still dancing, and some musicians still had
their instruments with them.''
    U.S. Ambassador Turner B. Shelton's secretary, Rosemarie
Orlich, 34, of Philadelphia, died in her demolished apartment.
    An American survivor, Vera Hernandez of San Jose, Calif.,
spent six hours trapped in the ruins of Gran hotel before
she was helped out.
    At least, 4th graf A236, editing out Somoza's title in 18th
graf, or 3rd graf a237
1844pES 12-24

 Earthquake INSERT
    MANAGUA Nicaragua Earthquake Bjt a285-236-237 insert before 6th to
last graf: organizations.

    Meanwhile, the Defense Department sent four C130 and one C123
aircraft from Canal Zone to Managua with over 60,000 pounds of
medical and other relief supplies. This was in addition to six
Saturday flights.
    The Sunday shipment included fifteen 400-gallon water trailers. In
all, 225 Army and Air Force medical personnel were assigned to the
hospital units being sent to Nicaragua in addition to other rescue

    Planes were: 5th to last graf
2159pES 12-24


 Pope-Christmas 450
Associated Press Writer
    PONZANO, Italy (AP) - Pope Paul VI prayed for an end to war,
violence and intrigue at a midnight Mass in cold, bonfire-lit
mountains among miners and shepherds.
    The 75-year-old pontiff left the Vatican Sunday night to visit
miners, who worked Christmas Eve digging a railroad tunnel on
Mount Soratte 31 miles north of Rome.
    ''There can and must arise a new way of being men,'' Pope Paul said
in his homily. ''There must not be need to have recourse to war,
violence or intrigue to restore a better order in human living.''
    It was the second time in 12 hours that the pontiff pleaded for
an end to war. ''We have our heart in anguish,'' he said in his
noon speech Sunday, referring to Vietnam.
    Pope Paul put on a miner's hard hat and drove nearly two miles
into the tunnel to bless the digging site.
    Then he said Mass at a makeshift altar the miners had built outside
with stone slabs from the tunnel. Bonfires lit the mountain slopes.
Shepherds stood in silence near their bleating flocks. Villagers
had marched up the slopes in torchlight processions.
    Fireworks flashed into the night before the Pope led the crowd
of nearly 2,000 in prayer.
    ''Jesus Christ has been born for you, for each one of you,'' the
pontiff said. ''He, Jesus, entering upon the scene of human history,
willed to meet by preference simple, humble and poor men and women,
and especially workers, because when he was older he became a man
of ordinary work . . .
    ''Every man can say: Christ came for me, truly for me all the more.
Can any one of you say: God has come into the world for me to meet
me, to visit me, to save me,'' the Pope said.
    The Pope spoke with a firm voice. His doctor, Mario Fontana, was
beside the altar but the pontiff appeared to stand remarkably well
the fatigue of the nighttime trip into the cold mountain air.
    Pope Paul went to the tunnel in response to an invitation sent by
the miners when they learned they were scheduled to work Christmas
    It was the third Christmas Eve the Pope spent away from the
Vatican. He said Mass in 1968 among workers at the huge steel works
of Taranto, in southern Italy, and went to Florence on Christmas
Eve 1966 to bring consolation after a disastrous flood.
    In one of the prayers following the homily, a priest invoked God's
consolation for the survivors of the earthquake in Nicaragua, and
the ''many who have died.''
    A papal aide said the prayer was added on Pope Paul's instructions.
    About 40 priests were with the pontiff on a platform under a
floodlit shelter. The shelter had the traditional shape of the
stable, with a bulb-lit comet on its front and towering statues of
Joseph and Mary with the Holy Child behind the altar.
    Pope Paul gave Communion to nearly one hundred miners and residents
of nearby villages.
1951pES 12-24