1997 Photo Contest, Spot News, 2nd prize

John McConnico

The Associated Press

01 September, 1996

Cassandra (1) is being comforted by a relative while her father looks on. Trapped in their home on the edge of the Guamani river, Puerto Rico, four of the nine-member Gómez family were swept off by the rising water. Her mother and three siblings did not survive the ordeal. But at dusk help was at hand for the others. Miguel Ariel Rodríguez and José Luis de León risked their lives to rescue them. What started as the kind of tropical storm inherent to the climate of the Caribbean turned into fierce Hurricane Hortense, which pelted Puerto Rico with more than 45cm of rain and thrashed the island with 121kmph winds. As Hortense continued on its destructive course, it left 16 Puerto Ricans dead in its wake.

About the photographer

John McConnico

Joe McConnico (Fort Worth, Texas, 1965) studied photojournalism in Austin, while working as a photographer for The Daily Texan. He was nominated NPPA College Newspaper Photograph...

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