A teenage girl has been pulled out of the rubble in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, a full 15 days after the earthquake struck, rescuers say.

They said she was happy and shocked despite being severely dehydrated and having a leg injury.

Her rescue comes five days after the Haitian government officially ended the search and rescue operation.

Meanwhile President Rene Preval has said parliamentary elections due to be held on 28 February will be postponed.

As many as 200,000 people died in the 12 January earthquake. At least 130 people have been pulled alive from the rubble.

Bath water

A rescue worker described the discovery of the teenager, two weeks after the quake destroyed the city, as a “miracle”.

“I don’t know how she happened to resist that long,” said rescue worker JP Malaganne.

The 16-year-old girl, who Reuters named as Darline, was found in the rubble of the College St Gerard which one of her relatives said she had just started attending.

Neighbours had been searching in the rubble of their homes in the central Carrefour-Feuilles district when they heard a voice and called rescue teams to help.

After being removed from the wreckage of the school, the girl was immediately covered with a thermal blanket and given oxygen. She has now been taken to hospital.

“She just said ‘Thank you’, she’s very weak, which suggests that she’s been there for 15 days,” said Samuel Bernes, the head of the rescue team that discovered her.

He described her location within the rubble as “in a pocket, surrounded by concrete”.

The BBC’s Karen Allen, in the Haitian capital, said that rescue workers had told her the teenager was trapped in the bathroom when the quake struck and was able to survive by drinking water from a bath.

On Tuesday, rescuers discovered a 31-year-old man who had been trapped for 12 days after being caught in one of the numerous aftershocks that rocked the city after the earthquake.

In announcing the election delay, Mr Preval said he would not seek to remain in office beyond the end of his term in February 2011.

He added: “I don’t think the time is right to hold elections now given the conditions in which people are living.”

Source: BBC


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