Sunday, May 30, 2010

Red Alert

Over the past six days El Salvador has gone from a green alert - Wednesday - to orange - Friday - and today to a red alert. So much rain has fallen that all the country is super-saturated. Rivers are overflowing. Villages are cut off. The new fields of just-planted corn are washed away. Six days of torrents, six days without sunshine - we're living in the back-wash of Agatha, the first named Pacific tropical storm of the season.

At least this week there was time to evacuate villages in danger and to help people cross the raging rivers (see the photo from La Prensa Grafica). Some lives have been lost - I think I heard of seven fatalities - but many less than in last November, when a month's worth of rain fell in one terrible night.

Here in Suchitoto, we're doing OK, but more than a little damp. When you wash something out in this weather, 100% humidity, it just stays damp. Saltshakers clog. The drainpipe above our washing machine is leaking copiously. Small problems, indeed. Our spirits have been lifted today because we were invited to share the Trinity Sunday Eucharist with a visiting Jesuit and students from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY (they've spent their whole week here in the rain and the mud, and still seemed to be loving it). We're also hopeful because it hasn't rained in Suchitoto for about 10 hours and maybe, just maybe, the weather is going to change. Primero Dios!

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