Saturday, November 15, 2008

It came out of nowhere

At least that is what it seemed like. Today has dawned a gorgeous African summer day, making yesterday's experience seem like something in a dream. Yesterday dawned like that too. I headed to Durban to write my exam with that feeling of awe and... and... actually words fail me here. I can't describe the feeling that a real summer's day in Africa brings. You have to be here. Experience it. It lulled us into a sense of summer happiness. Falsely.

At about 2pm, out of nowhere (I suppose it came from somewhere, we just didn't see it coming) a tornado hit. Sean was in the little town near where we live and luckily was parked underground because from where he was he watched trees being ripped out of the ground. A prefab building collapsed in front of him. It was empty. He went to check. The wind was ferocious. The rain came down in sheets. Thunder didn't rumble. It split the air with its anger. We are about 7km away from where Sean was.

It went from sunny to so dark it may as well have been night time in a matter of moments. I unplugged everything and shut all the windows. We were lucky. We caught the edge of it. The power went out. It made the darkness even more intense. Our garden furniture blew around a bit and the trees were bent in half. One came down in our complex. But that was it. Less than 2ks away our friends house lost its roof, their house is full of water and they still have no power. They are safe though.

Roofs have come off buildings all over the place, trees are strewn great distances from where they were once rooted, cars have been squashed by buildings and trees. The worst damage, as it always seems to be, was in the settlement near where we live. 400 houses were blown away. Over 1000 people are homeless. Cars were blown around. 8 people are dead. 8 so far.

Today you wouldn't know. Wouldn't believe it if someone told you. It is dead calm. The sun is hot at 8am. The birds are calling and the monkeys have come to visit. Out there is the evidence. The devastation of people's lives. And it came out of nowhere.

1 comment:

jeff@sally said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of life. For each family who lost someone life doesn't go on the same even though the sun is shining and the animals chattering away like normal. All has changed in the blink of an eye.