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Tucsonan shares story of being rescued off of Caribbean Island

Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 21:11:54-04

A Tucsonan is now home safe after being rescued from St. Maarten. 

St. Maarten is one of the many Caribbean islands devastated by category 5 Hurricane Irma. 



Lana Hariri, a graduate from the University of Arizona was hoping to start her 2nd semester of Medical School at the American University of the Caribbean. 

"The minute I landed we found out that Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a category 5," says Hariri. 

Everyone on campus asked to take shelter. "I had no idea what to prep for because I've never had the experience of dealing with a natural disaster before," says Hariri. 

She packed enough food and clothes for two days but she ended up staying in shelter for five days. 

The Tucsonan was going to ride out the hurricane with more than 500 people in a building built to withstand a powerful hurricane like Irma. 

"We were standing outside and we could feel how windy it was. It was like sticking your head out of the car that's how much wind there was," explains Hariri. 

Those winds destroying everything. 

Hariri says, "Luckily there was very little damage to our building but everything outside of that building was pretty much destroyed."

After ten days of no electricity, no cell phone service and not even a shower - resources began to thin but help finally arrive. 

The United States Military rescued everyone who needed to help off the island and onto American mainland.



"Never in a million years thought I would be going into a c130," says Hariri. Adding, "They are our heroes because they brought us back home." 



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