week, all local news seems rather unimportant after the multiple terrorist attacks
on the United States.
Tuesday 11th September 2001, a day that will forever be remembered
by the American people, the Ibicencan newspapers have each dedicated more than
20 pages of print every day to the New York City and Washington DC tragedies.
Tuesday morning, thousands of people on holiday in Ibiza gathered in bars and
cafes to listen to the live reports coming in about the World Trade Center and
young Ibicencans witnessed the terrorist attacks first hand. Vanessa Colomar,
Marco Marcos, Carlos Perez and Nuria Garcia were all present when the attacks
Colomar, daughter of the president of Fomento de Turismo (Tourist Board) JosÚ
Colomar, was getting out of the train that takes her to her office in Wall Street,
200 metres from the World Trade Center, when the American Airlines plane crashed
into the second of the Twin Towers. Vanessa's first reaction was to run in the
opposite direction. "At first I thought it was a bomb because from my position
I could not see the Twin Towers", said a nervous Vanessa after realising
the devastating effects of the terrorist attacks. "Manhattan is in chaos.
People are running everywhere".
Marcos, a 31-year-old basketball coach for the Ibicencan team Sa Graduada, was
watching the television with his wife in their Washington apartment when they
heard an explosion. "I thought it was a car bomb in the Capitol but when
I looked out the window I could see the Pentagon burning". Marco had planned
to catch a flight the same day at six o'clock Eastern time to Madrid so that
he would be home on the island for the start of the new basketball season on
Sunday. "All flights have been cancelled. Only the presidentĺs plane is
allowed to fly. I don't know when I will be able to get out of here".
25-year-old Santa EulÓria resident, Carlos Perez, watched in amazement as the
two World Trade Center buildings collapsed into a mountain of rubble. "I
am at home in Queens and I have just seen the Twin Towers fall", screamed
a frightened Carlos down the phone to his family in Ibiza. "They are telling
us not to go out or turn on the air-conditioning because the bombs may contain
chemicals. We are very scared". Later, Carlos like many others discovered
the horrifying truth that not bombs but aeroplanes had caused the explosions.
Garcia, another Ibiza resident who works in a medical centre in Washington DC
close to the White House said: "We have had hundreds of people coming to
the centre for treatment after the attack on the Pentagon, also thousands willing
to donate blood. Two women travelling on one of the planes that crashed into
the World Trade Center had appointments at our medical centre on Wednesday 12th
September", said Nuria.
Garcia decided to spend a years work experience in America instead of Pakistan
because her parents considered that the United States was a safer place for
the news came in, Americans that live on the island and Americans here on holiday
could not believe what they were seeing. "It's like something out of a
Hollywood horror movie. I can't believe how my country has been turned into
a disaster area in a matter of minutes", said one American tourist watching
the events unfold.
agencies said that only a small number of Ibicencans are in America at this
time of year "most wait until the end of the tourist season before travelling.
October and November are the months when people from the island travel to the
United States but we have had numerous requests from Americans wishing to purchase
tickets to return home to be with their family and loved ones", confirmed
a local travel agent.
board of directors of Aena (Airports and Air Navigation) in Ibiza and the director
of the Spanish Administration of Airports, Marienna Sanchez-Jauregui, confirmed
that special security precautions have been implemented at all of Spain's airports
and ports. Even though no direct flights join America to Ibiza, officers of
the Cuerpo Nacional de Policia (National Police) and the Guardia Civil (Civil
Guards) will be on full alert until further notice.
director of the Autoridad Portuaria (Port Authority), Jorge Martin, allayed
the worries of some residents by confirming that the American Navy Ship that
was visiting Ibiza last weekend has left Ibicencan waters.
like most other parts of the world, has discovered this week that events perpetrated
by a small number of people thousands of miles away can affect our peaceful
existence and change our way of life.