On Thursday while looking at the weather forecast, I noticed a huge spike in rainfall predicted for the weekend. After opening up Windy.com it was clear the remnants of tropical cyclone Francisco was heading directly for Mahanoro. So, we planned for the deluge of water, but what we didn't plan for was the cyclone becoming a zombie cyclone, finding new life in the undeath, and serving a small sliver of hell on Saturday morning.
Peak storm Saturday
I woke up to the wind screeching through the palms and trees, which swung ruthlessly to their limits and back. The large fruit from the overhanging tree fell periodically onto the tin roof of my bungalow. The sky was grey with water and spray from the ocean.
Landfall. And with it the energy of the storm cut short, the wind ablated, and it became a bit safer to emerge from my bunker. I dismissed my jandals (flip-flops) for a pair of sturdy shoes, and headed out to the school.
Fences were missing, or blown over. Tree splinters, leaves, and fruit littered the pathways between the houses. Some houses had lost their roofs, and their occupants were hurredly trying to put their houses back together.
The view of the beach was dreary, the sand covered in black mud, and the ocean was the colour of a rich stew, but instead stank of uprooted plants.
Large puddles of water meant the water table was just a few centimeters under my feet. A moat had formed around the school, a moat I'd have to cross to get to the safety of the school. I exaggerate. I was not in any danger, but my stomach was wailing its death song. It was almost lunch time.
The mood in the school was sombre.
Some of the students were not as lucky, early this morning one of their roofs had been ripped off in the wind, leaving them to quickly relocate to another group's house before everything got too wet.
Then the heavy rains came.
The way back home was filled with waist deep water in parts, so we headed back via the beach and proceeded to get soaked.
At some point I made a silly decision to detour via the roads.
Powerlines dangled just above the water in the flooded streets, but there thankfully hadn't been power since Friday night. And there I waded, for 15 mins to finish off the last 500m to the lodge.
After drying off, and hanging up all my wet gear, I settled in.
It rained the entire night till Sunday morning.
The roads are still flooded, and our access to town is still cut off if you can't handle wading all the way there.
It's Monday morning, and the sun is out. Thankfully we have enough supplies to make it for a week here at the School. Internet access and power are running sporadically.
Another week survived. 💪🤨