Sunday, December 26, 2004

Rising water 

The day after Christmas in Sri Lanka:

I couldn't understand what the fuss was about. All seemed peaceful. There was barely a ripple in the sea.

Then I noticed that the water around me was rising, climbing up the rock walls of the island with astonishing speed.

In less than a minute, the water level had risen at least 15 feet -- but the sea itself remained calm, barely a wave in sight.

The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible -- a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced before.

As the waters rose at an incredible rate, I half expected to catch sight of Noah's Ark.

Instead of the Ark, I grabbed hold of a wooden catamaran that the local people used as a fishing boat. My brother jumped on the boat, next to me. We bobbed up and down on the catamaran, as the water rushed past us into the village beyond the road.

After a few minutes, the water stopped rising, and I felt it was safe to swim to the shore. What I didn't realize was that the floodwaters would recede as dramatically as they had risen.

All of a sudden, I found myself being swept out to sea with startling speed. Although I am a fairly strong swimmer, I was unable to withstand the current. The fishing boats around me had been torn from their moorings and were furiously bobbing up and down.

For the first time, I felt afraid, powerless to prevent myself from being swept out to sea.

We have no water, and no electricity and are practically cut off from the rest of Sri Lanka. It is impossible to buy food, we are existing on cold ham and turkey sandwiches, leftovers from last night's Christmas Dinner.

The holiday that we planned and dreamed about for many months is in ruins. We feel fortunate -- fortunate to be alive.
(via WaPo)

Of course, there are historical parallels...

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?