Early Wednesday morning on October 8th, I awoke to take photos of the blood moon. The sky was inky black with clouds hiding the stars, as well as the eclipse of the moon. While I was standing on the beach, I shivered with a sense of foreboding. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was about to happen.
Thursday, the rains started. In 12 hours, we had 15 inches of rain. We lost our power early Thursday evening. Then, Friday morning, we had to walk into Moyogalpa to catch the ferry to take our very sick cat, Black Jack, to the vet in Rivas.
The rain sliced through the dark morning sky like sheets of glass. Our local beach bar’s ranchos toppled over like dominos.
We walked silently through the mud into town. The roads washed out, and waterfalls replaced our colorful treed path into town.
Upon returning to Ometepe Island that evening, we saw the damage to Puesta del Sol, our local community center. The foundation had washed out under the community center and into the lake.
It rained steadily for two days. Friday evening, when the power was restored, Francisco visited us. He went to Los Ramos to visit his family and his pictures of the destruction horrified us.
The community of Los Ramos lies at the base of the steepest part of Vulcan Concepcion, our active mile high volcano. Because of the heavy rains, 5-6 rock and mudslides flowed off the volcano. Nothing was sacred in their paths.
Farmers surveyed the damage. This is particularly troubling because we experienced a severe drought and the farmers missed their first planting. This was their livelihood and their last chance for a harvest this year.
We lost our power again last night and it was restored 12 hours later today. It is still raining. I’m sick with worry about the lovely community of Los Ramos. As soon as our roads are passable, we are going to head to Los Ramos to see what we can do to help.
Ometepe will survive. It’s amazing to me that the people are so resilient. They step over the boulders, and life goes on. Managua sent truck loads of mattresses, clothes, and other supplies for the families left homeless. The schools are closed because they house some of the evacuees…besides, there was no electricity or water.
I’ll update this post with more news and ways in which you can help as soon as we are able to fix our dune buggy ( it’s overheating) and see what the community of Los Ramos needs. Francisco told me they may move the entire community. It wouldn’t be the first time. When the Spanish conquistadors invaded Ometepe Island, Los Ramos moved their community from the beach, two miles closer to the volcano to avoid the raiders.
Please keep the people of Ometepe Island in your thoughts.
As a side note, poor Black Jack didn’t survive. His body was ravaged with infection and the vet said there was very little that he could do. R.I.P Black Jack. he was a loving rescue cat and we’ll miss him terribly.