Monday, December 8, 2008

The Quiet is Broken

Last Saturday on the island was a beautiful day.  We have had considerable rain in October and November along with what we refer to as “Northers” - storms which come down from Canada and the U.S. and dump a lot of rain on the island along with making sea conditions on the North and West side very dangerous.  Finally, in December, the sun started poking its head out again and the seas calmed down.  So it was with smiles that we met a beautiful day on Saturday.

However, just because you have good weather does not mean that things can’t go wrong.

Around 6:00 p.m., my friend and her husband were in their  house getting ready for supper when they suddenly heard what sounded like a bomb going off at the back of their house!  

Panic ensued and my girlfriend’s husband ran outside to see what was going on.  It was dark and difficult to get a  bead on the mystery of the noise but he finally discovered that a huge boulder had come tumbling down the mountain in back of their house and blasted a hole in their bathroom wall.

They have a wooden home built on a cliff overlooking the ocean and, for the most part, their property is made up of rocks and clay soil.  My friend has done a beautiful job landscaping around their home and I’ve always admired her for her hard work as everywhere you dig you are digging in a rock foundation.  Anyway, with all the rain we have had in the past two months, the ground further up the mountain must have given way and sent the boulder crashing down.  I checked the Earthquake Center to see if we happened to have had tremors that day but there were none reported. 

The rock took out a huge hole in the back wall of the bathroom rendering her drawers in the cabinet unusable.  It knocked the formica off the wall behind the sink and the molding at the base of the cabinet.  In its “rock and roll” adventure, it managed to smash and destroy her beautiful bougainvillea plant.

According to my friend, the next day their workers checked the site above and behind the house to find there are more boulders up there with the potential to come crashing down.  Plans are in the making to build  a type of retaining wall further up the mountain to, hopefully, halt the flow of any further stray rocks/boulders.  Whether this will work remains to be seen, but it is better to take some measures than none at all.

Meanwhile, after they had calmed down and got their heart rate and breathing back to normal, they were  just happy that the rock had not come crashing into their bedroom wall while they slept in their bed as the head of the bed is against the back wall.

Hopefully they can now go back to the tranquil quiet of the island!  I'm just happy that the worse I have to worry about at my house is water and soil washing down the hill when we get the torrential rains and my walk ways turn into raging streams of water flowing downhill to the sea.

1 comment:

  1. The rock took out a huge hole in the back wall of the bathroom rendering her drawers in the cabinet unusable.

    Let me put it this way: If a big boom like that went off in my house, my drawers would be unusable too, especially if I was wearing them!

    Floating around Guanaja (one can hardly say "driving") it's easy to see all the landslide scars on the hills. I suppose one should do a careful survey to make sure the location of their planned house is now downhill from a potential weakpoint like that.