Why do you think the people of the town ignored the warnings? 

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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The people who lived in the area were convinced that nothing would happen. They believed that the ever permanent ice would not be moved and the rumblings within the mountain would pass. However the heat from the volcanic activity within the mountain weakened and melted the ice on the surface. This resulted in a catastrophic mudslide which buried an estimated 20,000 people, their livestock, plantations, houses and even the surrounding forest.

For some time they had predicted that the heat of the eruption could detach the eternal ice from the slopes of the volcano, but no one heeded their warnings; they sounded like the tales of frightened old women.

The story focused on Rolf Carle's attempted rescue of Azucena, a child victim of the tragedy. Rolf worked as a journalist in the region and was able to arrive among the first responders to the scene. Rolf together with other volunteers noticed Azucena who was stuck in the mud and was at risk of sinking. They tried throwing her a rope but her efforts to reach it placed her in more danger. Rolf decided to risk his own life and wadded into the mud pit. He tried to dislodge the girl who was stuck in the mud. He however needed a pump to remove the silt. A number of days passed but the pump did not arrive, the little girl died and sank into the depths of the mud.

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