Monday, May 24, 2010

Tragedy Strikes

I laid in bed on a rainy Monday morning, enjoying a holiday at home to relax. As I enjoyed my relaxation tragedy was just over the mountain. In the small village neighboring mine, and where I teach at the primary school a landslide over took a home. Inside the home were three people; a man, a woman and a small boy, they were buried in the muddy mountain that collapsed on their home. The bodies yet to be found.
As the rain continued to fall hard crowds made their way and gathered around the bay and slide of earth that made its way into the sea. Firefighters and rescue teams taped off the scene; which didn't keep curious Dominicans away, and began digging through the piles and piles of mud, boulders, trees and branches. People gathering around climbed the landslide now adjoining to the rock wall to get better views, fisherman stepped in their boats and people continued passing the yellow tape. Watching as pieces of what used to be a home were pulled out a guitar halved was discovered and tossed to the side... one of the many possessions lost on this day.
As the hours passed and the rain fell, more landslides occurred. On my way back up the hill to head home we were informed of a blockage in the road. Sure enough an enormous side of a mountain had slid down positioning two palm trees perfectly in the middle of the road. My ride stopped there to turn around while I made the trek through the bushy jungle to cross the landslide. Full of mud I made it through and walked another 1/2 hour to reach my house, glad to be home, safe and resting.
Once evening came three bulldozers reached the area to clear the roads of the messes and assist in the digging of the house. As we go into the night crowds continue to gather and hundreds of people are waiting to see the discoveries under the mass of earth. The man's body was the first to be unburied, followed by the woman and 5 yr old boy. All declared dead and the funeral takes place Thursday, 3 June.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have lost friends and family in this natural disaster.

1 comment:

  1. Julie, thanks for 'reporting' on this...I was a PCV in Riviere Cyrique from 2004-2006 and returned to do my Master's Thesis from June 2008 to April 2009. Some friends and I hiked over to San Sauveur with friends last February I believe and we were standing maybe 50 feet from where this came down. San Sauveur is one of my favorite villages outside the SE and I was so sad when one my fellow Dominica RPCVs told me yesterday. Stay safe...