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Hurricane Dean; Mine Catastrophe; Search Suspended; Miners' Families; The 'Bumps'; Peru Earthquake

Aired August 17, 2007 - 23:00   ET


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Then it blows itself up and a new eye wall is developed outside of that eye wall and a larger eye wall goes a little bit slower.
Think of a skater -- arms out, skating pretty slowly; arms in, skating very quickly. So if you get that eye wall down to about eight miles or so, that's when you get that Category 5 wind. And then if it gets back up to 30 miles or 40 miles around, then it begins to go down a little bit. But this forecast is to be a Category 5 event as soon as it gets to just about the Yucatan Peninsula.

Now, it could be all the way down to Honduras, it could be all the way up toward Havana. But right here on Monday afternoon, that is 160-mile-per-hour storm -- Anderson.

COOPER: And I know we talked about it in our last hour, but just in terms of where this is tracking and when and/or if it may hit anywhere in the United States, when will we know that?

MYERS: We will expect landfall in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. It could be Wednesday morning if it's this far south, because the distance between here and here is a little bit less. The distance between the Yucatan Peninsula and Houston, a little bit farther just because of the way triangulation works.

But what we need to learn or what I've done now -- I've actually taken the line off because the line means nothing after about two days. It starts to be the cone. It can be left. It can be right. And you need to be -- this cone will move. I guarantee you, maybe in a couple of days New Orleans will be back in the cone and then Houston may be out of the cone. It will change as the forecast changes, as the -- now this is almost a living, breathing system by itself and it can at times make its own wind field by itself and turn itself or wobble itself. And when they wobble, that's when the computers get a little bit out of whack.

Now, I showed you the computers earlier, but the computers now are focused over the Yucatan Peninsula and mainly into Mexico. But tomorrow it may be completely opposite. It may be back up here again. You'll just have to keep awake on this. This is going to be a big storm for someone.

COOPER: And the waters in the gulf, I mean, at this time of year, it probably could not get much warmer.

MYERS: Yes. Well, the water where we are now, about 84. The water in the Gulf of Mexico, about 86 or 87. And I just got a really great -- a really great question about, is it too fast, is it too slow? Actually, if it goes too slowly, it can churn the water up and actually cool the water down. It can -- here's the churning. You get the warm water from the top mixing with the cold water on the bottom, and that will slow or kill a hurricane. If it moves too fast, it can do the same thing. At about 18 miles to 20 miles per hour, that's the perfect speed for a growing hurricane, not a dying one.

COOPER: So really Monday is the day we should look for in terms of knowing with far greater actually where that cone is going to hit in terms of -- in the United States or further south in Mexico?

MYERS: Without getting political on this because it is not a political event, it's a forecasting event, the Hurricane Center will decide to drive and fly the Gulf Stream out and fly through the storm.

I know you hear about the hurricane hunters and they fly through it and it's all right through the storm. The big Gulf Stream flies back and forth and back and forth, dropping these little drop sounds out of the belly of the plane. They put that information -- almost like little weather balloons, but going the wrong way. They put all of that information into the computer models. And let me tell you, that makes a much better forecast. So when they run that Gulf Stream, when they fly it, our forecast will begin to come back again -- back together again. And then we'll know much better.

No one lives here. No one lives here. We can't take weather balloons from here. There's no sampling. I'd love to have somebody every hundred miles. Then we'd know exactly where it's going. But you're not going to when no one lives there.

COOPER: Well, no one's covering severe weather like Chad Myers.

Chad, appreciate it.


COOPER: Chad also provided some of the best information on the seismic effects of last night's deadly collapse at the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah.

CNN's Gary Tuchman, on the other hand, reported on the heartbreak as we got word that one rescuer had died. And then another. And then a third. Today, MSHA, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, shut down the underground search for six missing miners. Tonight, we're going to be taking a hard look at all the factors that may have put the lives of a lot of hard working people in so much jeopardy.

First, the latest from Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the time daylight arrives, the grim truth was clear to all.

GOV. JON HUNTSMAN JR. (R), UTAH: Suffice it to say, yesterday, we went from a tragedy to a catastrophe. These men died as heroes.

TUCHMAN: Three men killed while trying to save the six trapped miners. Catastrophe struck 2,000 feet underground, when the mountain's weight produced an explosion of energy.

RICHARD STICKLER, MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION: The force of that blast completely destroyed the ground support that we had put in place, that we believed would provide protection for those rescue workers. We had three miners fatally injured. Six other miners were taken to the hospital.

TUCHMAN: Because of sensitivity to the families, we're not releasing the names of those who died. We do know one of them works for the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Thursday night, the drama played out in darkness, a medevac flight taking off as facts trickled in, families enduring an excruciating wait.

Amanda Madrigal's father and brother were inside the mine.

AMANDA MADRIGAL, SISTER OF RESCUE WORKERS: My brother sent a text message to my little sister saying that they made it out OK, that they were really close to the collapse, and they were on their way home. At that point, I was able to relax some.

TUCHMAN: Nine other families weren't so lucky, and now new accusations.

In a statement, the United Mine Workers of America says: "Despite misleading and self-serving comments to the contrary, this event and the previous tragedy were not caused by an earthquake or some other act of God. These miners' lives were jeopardized because of the acts of men."

The mine's owner has insisted the first collapse that trapped six men 12 days ago was caused by a natural shifting of the earth. But some say the type of mining that is done at Crandall Canyon, by its very nature, can cause seismic shifts, or bumps, in mining parlance.

But bumps can also be caused by other factors. We actually felt one when we went underground last week with the owner, Bob Murray.

Here's what it was like.

We hear a boom that shakes the mine and startles the worker, and especially us. The owner says it's another seismic event. One more, and we evacuate.

Mining is notoriously dangerous work. And we felt that firsthand.

(on camera): It's cold. It's dark. It's foreboding. A claustrophobic could never cut it here. There is a steady wind blowing. The ceilings are low. We're 30 minutes away from the nearest exit. (voice-over): The underground rescue efforts have now been suspended. Thursday's collapse, a huge setback for the race to reach those six miners who have been trapped for more than a week and a half.

Rescue work is as risky as mining itself, as the collapse proved. But, for the miners who have been working around the clock, those trapped men are like family.

MADRIGAL: My dad even told me. He said, I would rather be down there helping out than coming home and not doing anything.

TUCHMAN: Above ground, crews are still drilling a fourth bore hole into the mine, aiming for the spot where, on Wednesday, mysterious vibrations were detected.


COOPER: And, Gary, if it's not safe for the rescue miners to be inside the mine -- those operations are suspended -- how are they going to try to get to those six trapped miners?

TUCHMAN: Anderson, it's a really difficult question in many ways, because ultimately, that may be the only way to find out if these six trapped miners are alive or dead.

The fact is, they're drilling these small vertical holes through the top. They're on the fourth hole right now. But we have had no positive indication whatsoever that these men are alive. So, just consider it this way. If nothing happens, and we never see any sign they're alive, how do you prove they're dead? Can you just say to the family that it's too dangerous for us to go inside and keep tunneling and just assume they're dead? That would be a hard thing to do. So, it's a very difficult scenario right now.

COOPER: Did it -- did it surprise you, shock you when this happened? I mean, you were inside the mine.

TUCHMAN: Well, you know -- well, that's right. And, you know, last night, though, I wasn't here, Anderson. We were going to Peru to cover that story. We ended up coming back.

But I will tell you, when I first heard about it on the airplane, yes, I was shocked, because this was the worst-case scenario come to life. But then I thought about it, after being in that mine and seeing that they had abandoned the mine for two days because of 10 or 11 shakes that had happened. And you realize that's a very unsafe place to be, and how can you be that surprised? It's devastating what has happened, but it's not that shocking, in many ways.

COOPER: Gary, appreciate the reporting, as always.

We heard from the mayor of Price, Utah, last night. He lost a father in the mines.

We spoke with a young rescuer who had only been working underground a few weeks.

Each one, though, told us how deeply connected they are to the miners still trapped and their rescuers who died last night, an extended family helping the immediate families make it through.

CNN's Dan Simon has been talking with close family members about the support they have gotten and the agonizing decision to halt the digging.


DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For Azure Davis, mining runs in the family.

AZURE DAVIS, FAMILY MEMBER OF MINERS: My dad was a miner. His dad was a miner. His grandpa was a miner, everybody in my family. It's just a way of life.

SIMON: And now mining has taken a toll on her family. Her cousin Kerry Allred is one of the six miners trapped 1,500 feet underground for 12 days. And last night, another cousin, Dale Black, was one of the rescuers killed.

DAVIS: It's just hard.

SIMON: Today, she and her friends invited us over. They wanted to share their pain and frustrations. First, over the slow process in digging for the miners...

DAVIS: How do they not know at least a big vicinity of where they're at?

SIMON: ... and now, with the underground search coming to a halt. That's because Davis says she believes in her heart that her trapped cousin is still alive.

DAVIS: I can just imagine being trapped myself and hearing rocks fall, thinking, OK, they are close. They must be close by. It's -- that's got to be really hard.

SIMON: All of Davis' friends here disagree with the decision to stop the rescue.

SONYA GRAFF, DAVIS' FRIEND: My biggest fear was that they would stop, they would stop looking. There's a grandpa out there, somebody's husband out there, somebody's dad. I'm a daddy's girl, you know? And I know they have families that need them.

DEANNE GRAFF, DAVIS' FRIEND: If -- if I had the skill to do it, that I would go in and dig with my hands, because the families need closure. And it's not fair to the families.

SIMON: Mining is still the lifeblood of this central Utah community, but, today, two miners tell us the profession is getting too dangerous.

Randy Howell says he retired several years ago after getting hurt.

RANDY HOWELL, FORMER MINER: I have been covered up in that much coal in a mine before from them bounces. And I guess I just got lucky that -- but I don't know anymore about these mines. I don't work in them no more. I did 26 years in the mine. And my sons work -- my son works in one now. And I wish he would go to school and do something else.

SIMON: For nearly two weeks, this community has been on edge. Now it begins grieving. And with six miners still trapped, this emotional ordeal is so much harder.


COOPER: You know, Dan, we saw this in Sago, and we're seeing it so clearly in your report. I mean, the -- the emotions that an event like this bring up in the -- in the community, in the mining community, those who have been in here and those who are related to those who are in the mines, it's -- I mean, it tears families, it tears a community apart.

SIMON: It's just so difficult.

And of course, the families, who have been huddled at this school, absolutely got the worst news possible, that the search rescue underground has been suspended. This is where they have been spending their time. But we can tell you that they actually have to go to a new location this weekend, because school actually begins on Monday for these students. They're coming back.

And, Anderson, it's -- it's worth repeating. You know, you heard from those people today that they're upset that this rescue effort has been suspended. But we should point out once again that the drilling of those bore holes continues, and that that fourth bore hole should be completed some time tomorrow -- Anderson.

COOPER: Dan, appreciate the reporting.

You know, we just got some late word on one of three rescuers still in the hospital. He's out of surgery, a six-hour-long operation to fix broken bones in his face. He is in Provo, Utah. Two others are in Castleville -- excuse me -- Castleview Hospital in Price, where CNN's Dan Lothian is standing by now -- Dan.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN BOSTON BUREAU CHIEF: Well, that's right, Anderson.

You pointed out the latest information that we did receive from the Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo. An official there does -- did tell us that, indeed, that one victim who was taken there from last night's accident has come out of surgery. And the official told me that -- quote -- "It was as well as they expected," a six-hour surgery to fix facial fractures. He is now in serious, but stable condition.

One of the other victims remains here at Castleview Hospital. He is in stable condition. We're told that he should be released in the next couple of days or so. And then the final of the three still remain -- remain in the hospital at a Salt Lake City hospital. We're told that he's in fair condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Now, the governor of the state of Utah has been reaching out to family members of the victims.


HUNTSMAN: These men died as heroes. I can think of no better way to express your love for a fellow human being than to risk your life for someone else's, as we saw last night.

And, as I mentioned to the families right down this road of the six miners trapped, the best way that we can honor their lives is to stay strong.


LOTHIAN: The governor went on to say that, quote, "Yesterday, we went from a tragedy to a catastrophe."

And Anderson, this community is wondering when, and of course, how it will all end.

COOPER: And that is still very much a question tonight.

Dan -- Dan, appreciate the reporting -- Dan Lothian.

You have -- you have probably heard us use the term mountain bumps a lot lately -- a lot lately. Up next, what exactly they are, what are those mountain bumps, and how they factored into the rescue effort.

Also, some hard questions about how preventable this tragedy might have actually been.


COOPER (voice-over): Collapse, then catastrophe. Was the mountaintop mine an accident waiting to happen?

BOB BUTERO, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA: This plan should have never been approved. It should have never been submitted. History is not going to look favorable on this situation.

COOPER: We will dig into the federally approved mining plan to see who might have gotten things fatally wrong, "Keeping them Honest," only on 360.

Later, with the devastation nearly complete, the heartache begins. The latest on a killer quake from a city that barely exists anymore, tonight on 360.



COOPER (on camera): Well, the view that Gary Tuchman got from deep inside the Crandall Canyon Mine -- those are the pictures you're seeing now from last week, tape rolling as a mountain bump actually shook the walls.

Now, there have been many of those so-called mountain bumps. Mine owner Bob Murray blames seismic activity for the tragedy, but nearly every expert calls it an effect of the mine collapse, and not the cause.

So what precisely are mountain bumps? Let's get this straight.

CNN's Tom Foreman draws us a picture.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The question from the beginning has been, is this a natural result of natural earthquakes to have these cave-ins? And seismologists say they just don't think so.

And this is why. Look at all the seismic activity in the area of the Crandall Canyon Mine since that first big collapse that started all of this. These all represent individual hits. This, the latest one that hurt the rescuers.

Now overlay that with a map of the mine itself, and look at this. It's almost all falling within the confines of the map.

According to the USGS, if you allow for the margin of error in measuring these things, so could all of this. That's why seismologists say they just don't think these earthquakes are natural.

LEE SIEGEL, SCIENCE NEWS SPECIALIST, UNIVERSITY OF UTAH PUBLIC RELATIONS: There's a region of eastern Utah, basically in the shape of an upside down U, in which most of the coal mining occurs. An analysis by our seismologists of the earthquakes in that region over a multi-year period shows that only 2 percent are natural or tectonic earthquakes. Ninety-eight percent are related to mining.

FOREMAN: These scientists are not blaming the individual miners or rescuers. They're not saying they're doing something wrong that is causing the problem. They are saying that, when you Swiss-cheese a mountain like this, you create seismic instability, and you will create earth tremors and earthquakes and collapses in that area.

More evidence, they say? Just widen out the shot, and you will find nothing like that anywhere else for miles -- Anderson.


COOPER: It -- it is pretty convincing, when you overlay the map of the mine with the -- the map of where these events have taken place.

Swiss-cheesing the mountain, that's what -- how Tom put it. And that may have actually come with a federal stamp of approval. Every operator, you see, of a mine has to submit a mining plan and get MSHA to sign off on it. Murray Energy did it. They call it a safe one, but it came under heavy fire today, and so did MSHA for approving it.

CNN's Joe Johns, tonight is "Keeping them Honest."


JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Did it have to happen is the question being asked today.

BOB BUTERO, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA: These miners shouldn't have been put in this position to even have to be rescuing these six miners. Them six miners shouldn't have been put in this position. And these people that died last night shouldn't have been put in this position.

JOHNS: One issue is whether the mine operators got a big warning about instability in the mine months before the collapse trapped six miners last week, and whether, given that warning, federal regulators should have ever signed off on plans allowing miners to continue here.

Tony Oppegard, a former top official of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, says the big warning was a seismic event, which miners call a bump, that occurred in early March of this year.

TONY OPPEGARD, MINE SAFETY EXPERT: That bump in March was so severe, that it damaged the mine for a distance of close to 800 feet, and the mine had to discontinue the retreat mining, or pillaring operations on that north barrier.

JOHNS: But the company wanted to continue mining on the south side of the mine, so it enlisted a consultant. The consultant report, obtained by CNN, said mining could continue safely if the company substantially increased the size of support pillars to hold up the mine's roof.

The company even submitted a roof support plan to federal regulators, who approved it in June.

The consultant who put together the report, Agapito Associates, declined to comment and referred us to the mine owner.

And the CEO of Murray Energy has said the mining plan was rock solid.

BOB MURRAY, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: I can tell you without a doubt, number one, the mining plan was researched by a number of outside engineering firms and recommended. Number two, the plan was approved by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Number three, there were no violations of laws.

JOHNS: Now, though, an employee of the very federal agency that signed off on the mining plan is among the dead. And the question is whether that mining plan should have been approved at all, especially since it involved a controversial and some say hazardous form of mining.

It's called retreat mining. That means knocking down and harvesting the pillars of coal that were left in place to support the roof during the initial phase of mining. Some say cutting down those pillars and collapsing the mine along the way destabilizes the whole mountain.

OPPEGARD: There's no requirement that pillars be -- be extracted. It's very dangerous to do so. And the only reason to do so is to -- to produce more coal and make more money. And that's the sole reason for it.

JOHNS: Mine owner Bob Murray has denied that retreat mining was a factor in the accident.

MURRAY: Retreat mining had absolutely nothing to do with the disaster that happened here, nor was there any retreat mining happening at the time of the disaster.

JOHNS (on camera): The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration did not return our calls, but has said that the cause of the accident can't be determined until investigators get a chance to do their work. And, at this point, the mine is still the subject of a rescue operation.

Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: Well, but, if the six missing miners are never found, it, sadly, would not be the first time a mine became a grave site. Here's the "Raw Data."

The bodies of 12 men killed in the 1959 Knox Mine disaster in Pennsylvania were never recovered. In 1968, a mine explosion in Farmington, West Virginia, killed 78 miners. Nineteen of them remain underground.

And, in 1976, a mine in Kentucky was sealed after 26 miners were killed because it was determined that the risk of more explosions was just too high.

Up next, someone who has provided us insights since the tragedy at the Crandall Canyon Mine began. Dennis O'Dell, the director of safety and health with the United Mine Workers union joins us live.

Also ahead tonight, disturbing new allegations against NFL star Michael Vick. Who's talking and why he may face even more charges, next on 360.


COOPER: Video taken inside Crandall Canyon Mine earlier this week.

Dennis O'Dell has been helping us understand what's been going on there since the first collapse. He's director of safety and health with the United Mine Workers union.

And, in the full interest of -- in the interest of full disclosure, we ought to point out that Crandall Canyon is non-union, and Mr. O'Dell has been a critic of practices such as retreat mining. That said, we're always glad to see him.

Dennis, we have three now -- we have three rescuers dead, six others injured in these -- in these underground rescue efforts. The -- the efforts have been discontinued.

What does that mean for the possibility of reaching and -- and even rescuing the six trapped miners? Is that even possible now?

DENNIS O'DELL, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA: It's not necessarily impossible, but each minute, each moment that goes by, it, you know, puts a cloud over top of the rescue-and-recovery mission.

Time is so important. And this whole rescue attempt has been delayed by so many different things, that it makes you wonder. It makes you hope at least that maybe we can still get to them.

COOPER: I want to read part of the statement that your union released today.

It said -- and I quote, "It is the responsibility of the mine operator and federal authorities to ensure the safety of both those who mine the coal and those who attempt to rescue them. We must question whether they fulfilled their responsibilities at Crandall Canyon Mine."

How do you think that -- that they were negligent?

O'DELL: Well, Anderson, if you -- if you look at the mine plan that was submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and you see the type of mining that was taking place at that mine, first of all, the operators should have been reputable enough to know that -- what kind of conditions occur at this mine, what to expect.

We know that, in this area, mountain bumps do occur. We also know that, if you retreat mine in the fashion that they did, you're going to escalate the consequences of what is occurring at this point. You have large pillars in place that protect the top, that minimizes the mountain bumps from causing the kind of damage that we're seeing now.

But, when you start cutting and reducing those pillars, then you're just asking for a disaster. And I try to tell folks that -- that don't understand quite what -- what we mean by pillars or -- or support, people that have a basement and have jacks or a post set in their basement -- a lot of people can relate to that -- if you start removing those posts, those jacks, eventually, your house is going to collapse into your basement.

And virtually, that's what they're doing by this type of mining at Crandall -- at the Crandall Canyon Mine. COOPER: But not the owner, Bob Murray, of the mine says point blank that they were not retreat mining, certainly in the area or on the day that the original incident took place that trapped these six miners. Do you not believe him?

O'DELL: Well, here's what's going to happen. I don't know if we'll ever be able to find out because the damage may be so bad that we may not be able to uncover the evidence that will prove or not prove.

We've been told that Mr. Murray may be playing a little bit with words, that that crew that was there that night may have actually been taking care of some maintenance work. But the Mine Safety and Health Administration has told us that they were pillar mining.

When you look at the map that's been provided to us, you can see that they were pillar mining in a section above them. They got so far out, they ran into the same problem that they're running into now. They evacuated that part of the mine. They moved down to where they are now.

As you look to the left of them, to the right of them, you see long wall mining that's been pillared out. All the top support is gone. The area that they pillar mined already, the top support is gone. The area above them in main west, when you look at that, the area that's been sealed off, you can see that there are a lot of roof falls there that have occurred that's marked on the map.

So you virtually removed all your protections, just by looking at the mine map itself. You can look at it, and it tells a story. It doesn't lie.

So Mr. Murray and the operators at this mine should have known the dangers that they were going to face. And I think the investigation will point this out. Plain and simple.

COOPER: Well, we'll have to -- we'll have to be monitoring that investigation closely. It's easy to kind of move on. I feel like a lot of the media and ourselves included moved on after Sago and kind of didn't follow up on the investigation. Let's just hope that doesn't happen this time.

Dennis O'Dell, we appreciate you joining us. Thanks so much.

O'DELL: Yes, sir, and thank you.

COOPER: If you're looking for a way to make a difference for the victims of the mine disaster, you can go to Click on "Natural Disasters" to learn how, if you want, you can become part of the solution.

Tom Foreman joins us again right now with a "360 Bulletin" -- Tom.

FOREMAN: Hi, Anderson. Three Marines and a sailor died when their military helicopter crashed during a training mission near Yuma, Arizona. Another Marine was injured, as well. No word on what caused that crash yet.

The two pilots of the Shuttle Endeavour say they're absolutely 100 percent behind NASA's decision to not repair a gouge on the spacecraft's belly. One said they were worried about possibly causing more damage during the repair. Endeavour's gouge was caused by a piece of debris that broke off the fuel tank during takeoff.

In Virginia, two co-defendants in the dog fighting case involving Michael Vick say the NFL quarterback joined in drowning and hanging eight dogs. The two men entered plea bargains today in a federal court. A third man did the same thing earlier this month.

Vick is now on his own to cut a deal or to face trial. He could even face more charges when a grand jury reconvenes on Monday.

Now on to our "What Were They Thinking?" segment. In this case, it's more like what was she thinking. We tried to share this video twice this week but couldn't, due to all the breaking news.

But watch this. This is a flight attendant, Sara Mills (ph), was taken to a Kentucky detention center for allegedly being drunk on the job.

COOPER: That's a flight attendant?

FOREMAN: That's a flight attendant. The camera caught her crawling on the ground and pressing per face against the door. She's right down there.

Police say earlier this month, passengers aboard an ASA flight from Lexington to Atlanta told the pilot that they thought that she was drunk. Then the pilot approached her. Police said she wasn't very polite at that point. She's charged with threatening the pilot and public intoxication.


FOREMAN: So not good things with this day and time with flight -- we have so many concerns about that...


COOPER: I tell you. Would you like some coffee, tea, or a shot of Jack Daniels?

FOREMAN: Or perhaps a barricade between the sections.

COOPER: Right. Unbelievable. What a flight that must have been. Thanks a lot.

Now, here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING."



Monday we'll bring you the most news in the morning, including a vision of the future. It's the world's biggest, clearest, most amazing television screen, 100 times crisper than the best high definition TV. Who has it and what are they using it for?

Here's a hint, Anderson: it's not just to watch us.

That's Monday on "AMERICAN MORNING" beginning at 6 a.m., Eastern. Back to you.


COOPER: I'm intrigued.

Just ahead tonight, more on the mine and the miners.

Also, a live update from a place that also urgently needs your help.


COOPER (voice-over): With the devastation nearly complete, the heartache begins. The latest on a killer quake from a city that barely exists anymore.

And tracking Hurricane Dean. Deadly strong, getting stronger. But where will it go next? Two possibilities, one targeting Texas. Late new details ahead on 360.



COOPER (on camera): Two nights after a major earthquake struck southern Peru, rescuers are still desperately searching for any survivors at this hour. It has been extremely difficult for both rescue workers and journalists to reach the worst hit area, Ica Province in the city of Pisco, where almost everything has turned to rubble.

Our team is now on the ground, and the death toll tonight is more than 500. At least 1,000 people are injured. Many of the victims are children.

CNN's Harris Whitbeck is there.


HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cargo planes deliver baby-sized coffins to the airport near towns hit by the earthquake. Their final destination, a hospital in Pisco, where tiny bodies lay beneath black tarps.

There's another truckload of coffins on the way. Doctors fear that dehydration and diarrhea will claim more victims.

Injuries fester and infection menaces under the desert sun.

The tops of buildings dangle like limp marionettes. Eighty-five percent of the adobe city has been destroyed. Its survivors tend to the dead.

A mariachi band serenades a victim at his funeral, rich or poor, you will always be the king. Javier Casos Maron (ph) was 42 years old. A physics teacher, he died because he stayed inside his falling classroom to make sure his students made it out during the earthquake. Two days later, his wife and daughters mourn him as a hero. One of hundreds of funerals the entire Ica region must endure in the coming days.

Rescuers dig through the rubble of toppled houses and buildings non-stop. Each hour, new bodies turn up.

JORGE VEDA, CHIEF OF PISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT (through translator): In my 35 years as a firefighter, I have never seen this amount of destruction.

WHITBECK: Pisco, a desert town by the sea, had become accustomed to seismic shifts, but nothing prepared it for this.

Father and husband's corpse, hoisted like a rag doll from the fragile rubble. A church crushing elderly women during mass. Rescuers have already removed 41 bodies there and expect many more.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm waiting with hope because they did find some people alive. But after so much time, I know it's unlikely that my old grandmother is still alive.

WHITBECK (on camera): A tourist hotel housing people from around the world who came here looking for fun. Now rescuers work long into the night, looking for survivors. One man said he received a text message from his brother, allegedly trapped inside.

Harris Whitbeck, CNN, Pisco, Peru.


COOPER: So much pain tonight.

Up next, we're going to go back live to Gary Tuchman for the very latest from the Crandall Canyon Mine.

And we are expecting new information any moment now from the National Hurricane Center on the path of Hurricane Dean. They're going to update the information. The Category 4 storm is gaining strength. It is headed towards Jamaica. We'll have the latest.


COOPER: As we reported earlier, the underground rescue operation at the Crandall mine in Utah has been suspended indefinitely after last night's deadly collapse. Three rescue workers were killed, as you know. Six were injured when the tunnel they were digging caved in.

We're going to check in again with CNN's Gary Tuchman, who is at the scene near Huntington -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, like the miner's families, like the nation, like the world, the journalists here on the scene a mile away from this mine have been hoping, have been desperate for some good news. And that's why what happened last night was so interesting.

Because about 28 hours ago, ambulances just started pulling in here. And talking to the journalists here, and I wasn't here last night, so I can't tell you this firsthand. But talking to my photographer, our satellite engineer, people from other networks and other newspapers, when they first saw those ambulances, they thought that these men had been rescued. And then two and three and four started coming in and everyone thought that was a sign of good news. People were very optimistic and very hopeful.

But then the ambulances went in and went a mile behind us and didn't come for 15 or 20 minutes, people started thinking maybe that's not good news. Maybe they're taking bodies out.

And then the third option came. Maybe there's been another accident, and indeed that's what happened. It was like a balloon deflating, everyone thinking it was good news and not knowing that it was the worst nightmare possible, that people who went in, people who were heroes, trying to help their brethren, ended up dead and hurt.

And as you said, Anderson, right now the tunneling inside the mine has stopped, maybe indefinitely. Too dangerous to be inside there. And it stopped last week for two days because it had been shaking. But now after you have this, it's stopped indefinitely.

And right now it's very likely that the only way they'll ever see these men, alive or dead, is to do that tunneling. So it leaves a lot of tough questions to be answered. Will that work ever resume?

COOPER: So that fourth drill hole, is that still being drilled?

TUCHMAN: Yes, the vertical work continues. That's a relatively non-risky work they're doing up there. They're drilling these small holes. They're basically holes for cameras. They're holes for microphones. They're holes to put oxygen in, and they're peepholes. The idea is to try to see any sign of these men whatsoever.

So it's expected that tomorrow that fourth hole will be complete and they may start doing a fifth and sixth hole. That work will continue. But as far as the work inside, that's not continuing right now.

One more thing I want to point out, Anderson. It's very interesting. Every day since this began, the co-owner of the mine, Bob Murray, has been out here talking to us. He's been conspicuous by his absence today since this accident happened. He wasn't hurt inside the mine, and we don't know why he hasn't been here.

But I will tell you, just by seeing him and seeing how emotional he's gotten over the days, I wouldn't be surprised if he's emotionally overwrought by this and doesn't feel he can appear in public right now.

COOPER: Gary Tuchman, appreciate the reporting, Gary.

Up next, Hurricane Dean, now Category 5. It's already pounded Martinique. It is heading toward Jamaica. Chad Myers just got the new National Hurricane Center update just minutes ago. He's going to have it for us when 360 continues, right after this break. Stay tuned.


COOPER: Some breaking news to bring to you on a potentially serious, serious storm. That is Hurricane Dean battering Martinique. The picture is right there. The satellite images tells the story. A massive storm, forecast now to become the first Category 5 storm of the season, on track to hit Jamaica, and the Gulf Coast is bracing, as well.

Joining me now with the latest, severe weather expert Chad Myers.

That's new. Forecast now to be a Cat 5?

MYERS: Yes, that's the first time we've done that. Now, the hurricane center put that Category 5, and it's right before it gets to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Now, it could be in Cuba at that point. It could be all the way as far south as Honduras. I'll show you the cone. I'll show you the middle of the cone, and then you can decide for yourself what you need to do to prepare and where it goes from there under the U.S. Gulf Coast or the Mexican Gulf Coast. That's still four, four and a half days away.

There it is, a perfect eye. The storm now symmetrical. We talk about polar outflow. We look at storms. We look at how the tops go. Is it really moving away? Are the tops going out away from the eye? And yes, they are.

The air is coming in at the surface, coming up through the eye and out around the eye wall itself, and then it spreads out and blows those cirrus clouds, in this case, probably thousands of miles away, well north of San Juan and all the way down even into Venezuela. Get a map and find out how those things are apart. That's thousands of miles there.

Now so here we go. Dean, here are the numbers: 14.9 and 65.9, moving west at about 18 miles per hour. Now, we have not seen any of this west-northwest component yet. It's not moving to the north. It is continuing to travel due west this evening.

We are expecting, and this forecast to turn to the west-northwest and take this jog on up toward Jamaica as a 155 mile-per-hour storm. I've been to Jamaica. There are few buildings that will withstand 155 miles per hour.

Now is the time to make your plans to find some place that will withstand that kind of wind. Now, if it is -- if this line -- it could be on both sides. Could be either side. Could be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) side, could all be down here in the Kingston side.

No matter what, you're not going to get away from that 120-mile- per-hour, 130-mile-per-hour wind. If it's even 30 miles one way or the other, and it's not going to be far away from Jamaica at all, and so those winds are going to be devastating for that island.

And this five right here, Anderson, that's Monday afternoon, 2 p.m., Monday afternoon. It is forecast to be 160 miles per hour...


MYERS: ... as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula right there. You would see Cozumel, you would see Cancun. Right over here, this is Pino del Rio. This is basically where the tobacco growing region of Cuba is.

Now, if it does miss this Yucatan Peninsula and get into the Gulf of Mexico without making any contact, it will remain a Category 5 storm in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's hard to describe where it goes from here, because we like not to go out that far. I know they make that five-day forecast, but there's such a larger error.

Look, the error is all the way from Houston, all the way down south of Tampico. And again, another thousand miles worth of air here, so you have to focus on where it's going. Is it going correctly and how the hurricane center will make that cone smaller as this gets closer to you.

COOPER: So Chad, when will we know -- I mean, we don't want to go down the road of speculation. Obviously, that cone from Houston all the way down to far down south of Mexico.

But when will we know, at what point over the weekend or on Monday will we be able to estimate with greater accuracy where it's going to hit in America, if at all, or further south in Mexico?

MYERS: Yes. It very well may be Monday before we know whether that number five is really where that storm is going to be at 2 p.m. Because if it's down here hitting the northern sections of Honduras, well, then that's going to take the storm across into some very rugged mountains and tear that storm up.

If the storm is farther to the north, let's say on this side of the cone, then we know it's getting into the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Gulf Coast is in trouble.

There's nowhere for a hurricane -- especially of this size -- there's nothing for it to miss. It's either going to hit Florida, it's going to hit New Orleans or the Gulf Coast here or the Texas and Mexican coast. It's a bubble in here that, once you're in it, you can't get out of it. You're going to hit something getting out of it.

And this gulf water now is 86 to 87 degrees. All it takes is 80 degrees to make a hurricane. So that's just premium fuel onto the fire, and we do expect it to get even -- it could be 160 miles per hour if it just brushes here in the Yucatan and doesn't really make a direct hit on Mexico into the Gulf of Mexico. And then we really have to begin to worry.

Now the computer models are kind of getting a little bit -- I'll say better organized. Because earlier today, it was a wide, sawed off shotgun spraying numbers everywhere.

They're focusing tonight a little bit closer down into -- from Brownsville south. See all of these different computers? Now, obviously one is going to be right, the rest of them are going to be wrong. It's kind of like the Russian judge and the American judge. You throw away the high score, you throw away the low score and you kind of get something in the middle.

And so right now the hurricane center is saying the middle of the line is south of Brownsville, Texas. So there's a better than 50/50 chance that it is south into Mexico, a little less than 50/50 chance of it being on the U.S. mainland here.

It is still going to devastate someone at 160 miles per hour. This very well may be the strongest storm of the year, and it is Dean.

But again, remember, Andrew was also the strongest storm of the year, and that was the "A" storm. So the water is hot. All the conditions are right, and it is just -- it is going to be a brutal storm as it gets closer and closer to either Jamaica, into Port au Prince.

This has -- this has such big arms to it, Anderson, that even if the eye misses Port au Prince by 70 miles, you're going to get torrential rain, 15, 20 inches of rain in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Can you imagine what that will do to the hillsides? I just can't imagine the mudslides we are going to see as this day goes on and into tomorrow, as well.

COOPER: Especially in Haiti, which is stripped, their mountainsides. You know, that's going to be -- it could be catastrophic.

MYERS: Absolutely.

COOPER: And even into the Yucatan Peninsula, I mean, a Category 5 storm, 160-mile-an-hour winds slamming into the Yucatan Peninsula. That is -- that can be devastating.

MYERS: And really, Cozumel just finally recovering from getting hit so hard a couple of years ago.

COOPER: Wow. We're going to continue to cover this after the break. At the top of the hour, additional information on the hurricane from Chad. Category 4 now, soon to be a Category 5, growing deadlier by the minute.

Chad has just been saying it, we're going to repeat it. This is one bad storm.

Up next, your feedback from the 360 blog. A lot of you talking about the catastrophe at the Utah mine and the deadly earthquake in Peru. We're going to share some of your thoughts, coming up.


COOPER: Time to check what's "On the Radar" on the 360 blog. A lot of you sharing your thoughts on this tough week.

We start off with the Utah mine catastrophe. Three rescuers killed last night as they were digging to find the six trapped miners.

Loren in Stuart, Florida, writes: We can put a robot on Mars and we cannot put one down a mine shaft. Cameras and robots come in small packages.

On Wednesday there was a deadly earthquake in Peru. More than 400 people killed, many of them children.

Carol in Frederick, Maryland, says: It's sad that anybody died and sadder still to see such little coffins. Prayers for all of them.

And many of you appreciated Meteorologist Chad Myers' answers to our five questions on earthquakes and hurricanes.

Kelli in San Francisco, writes: Thanks to Chad Myers for the info. Really interesting and informative as usual. I guess there's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on in the world nowadays!

Kelli, yes, there certainly is.

If you want to weigh in, log on to We love hearing from you.

For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is coming up next. Here in America, "LARRY KING" is coming up.

I'll see you on Monday. Have a great weekend.