A couple days ago we thought that the disaster in San Pablo was one of the worst in the Lake Attilan area, but we have recently learned that it was one of the smaller mudslides around the lake.
The rain started up on Thursday and just kept raining all the way through Saturday evening. It was due to Tripical Storm Agatha and left being major devestation all over Guatamala. Here in San Pablo, there was a huge mud slide that completly took our about thirty homes and has left about twenty more half burried in mud. One family lost their ten year old daughter when she was literally washed out of her mother’s arms. Many more were injured and several more were dug out of mud that was up to their necks. We went down the next afternoon after things had been cleaned up a little and it was still a mess. There were divers out in the lake looking for the little girls body, while others were digging their belongings out of the mud and trying to load what was still usable onto boats. There was a refrigerator floating out in the lake and clothes and shoes were still hanging on what was left of the worn stalks and roots sticking out of the ground.
In some of the other cities the death count is much higher and just across the lake there were over thirty killed in one slide. (This is what we have gathered from teh locals.) The water is out all around the lake and the are still trying to dig out the roads aound the area so the buses can get in to bring food and water. It isn’t a desperate situation by any means, but people are being careful to guard their water and food and there is little water for flushing toilets or washing clothes, so we have joined the locals in the bathing and laundry rituals. 🙂
Here are a few pictures of the mud slide a day after it happened.
As there is only one tractor for the entire lake area all the schools have been closed and all “government employees” ie. the teachers, as well as all the men and boys are taking turns with shovels and hoes to clear the mud from the roads and out of the houses.