You know and expect the rainy season to bring rain… but how much rain, how fast and what it will bring with it, is something you can’t quite prepare for.
Three weeks ago, the rainy season began and last week it brought with it the looming threat of incredibly heavy rainfall.
On Wednesday, that threat developed into Tropical Storm Beatriz, hitting Oaxaca on Thursday evening. Although it never eventuated into a Hurricane, it left behind a trail of disaster in its wake.
Over the past two months we have been measuring rainfall on the roof of our house. Last week the increase was so dramatic that on one day we accumulated over 390mm of water. Wednesday evening, as we were (very thankfully) tucked up in our cosy bed, we could hear the sound of water on the walls, seeping into our room. As we quickly turned on the light to inspect the floor, we realised that even though our home is made from solid concrete, houses here just aren’t built to withstand these conditions. On Thursday night, after visiting friends for a dinner by candlelight, we decided to leave our truck up the hill stuck in mud and return home by foot, venturing out in the storm.
We got off disaster free, with only seven leaks in our home. But the same cannot be said for others, both here in Pluma and throughout southern Mexico.
Around our beautiful state of Oaxaca the storm created landslides, destroyed homes, caused nine rivers to overflow, collapsed roads, left many people displaced and robbed men, women and children of their lives.
Walking through the villages and towns here, you might not think this storm affected many at all. However, when you speak to people and visit their homes – you see and hear quite a different story. Maybe it’s because those that live here, have learned to be resilient. Or maybe it’s from years of devastating events, that this mindset has developed. Whatever it is, these villages have stood here for generations and although homes may not be built to withstand hurricane season, the people here in Pluma Hidalgo certainly are.
By Jess Pantoja-Sanders – TLF Field Director, Mexico
The Lucy Foundation’s team in Mexico are gearing up to fix homes damaged by tropical storm Beatriz. To do this, they will need proper tools and provisions. To help out, you can donate here.