I’m still in Leon, and we have 25000 evacuated people here. roofs blown off, etc.
I was actually here in my room, preparing the conference of a political party in Norway. The storm was pretty bad, but suddenly the lights went out, and about 10 mins later some of the other living here knocked on the door, advising me to get out an into the kitchen, as a giant Mango-tree looked like it might fall and smash my room.
So I stood in the kitchen for a while (a few hours). The kitchen is halfway outdoors, and so I secured the door leading out with a refrigerator. When the wind started dying down, I walked out and around town. That surely wasn’t very safe, but I needed food. Most trees on the way had fallen, and so had a lot of the electrical installation. In addition, the streets were flooded, and people were running everywhere quite frantically.
The Supermarket La Union was still operating, using generators to provide light. I bought two breads and a bunch of bananas. I ended up down at Big Foot an they had their doors still open and acted as if everything was normal. The owner wasn’t actually there and the British girl running it while he isn’t there, Jaime aged 22, seemed a bit overwhelmed. But now the wind had disappeared completely.
However, the information I had received earlier was that the worst point was to be 6pm, an it was only 15:30 or so. Jaime was prepared to close everything down later. I decided to eat there one last time, and then thought about what other food to stock up. I asked a Nicaraguan guy at the bar. He said: “All you need is Rum and condoms.” Hmm, romantic I guess, unless your roof blows off.
I walked on to the Albergue. There the guy at the door Jose, whom I have been giving English lessons, just arrived on his bike. For them, absolutely everything was normal. It was surreal, part of the town was being evacuated, animals and and some people were dying in the streets, but the owner there, Frank, thought it was all over now. I don’t know where that takes his confidence from oftentimes, but Jose was eager to start his English lesson. I hadn’t brought his book and so excused myself to go get it.
When I reached home, it just started to rain again a bit. A Nicaraguan family was visiting. They had abandoned their house when they first heard about it, and had hung around La Union supermarket. Also they thought it was over. I aid that well, there were two theories about that. Before I had managed to get into my room and get the book, it had started again full-blown. This time it really looked as if the house would blow away entirely. The Norwegian couple I live with and I made plans for the night. Another high peak had been announced for 12pm and we would therefore drag out mattresses out of our room, which all were in danger of being smashed by the tree, and instead put them up in the only room that seemed safe, as it had a double roof, so if the roof were to blow off, we would still be OK. The couple has two kids, and they were getting growingly impatient by the situation and so I played around with them for a while to take some of the burden of them of having to handle them for hours on end.
Then around 7:00pm the wind died down another time. This time I got the husband to come with me to a closer-by supermarket to get everything we needed in case we would be stuck here for weeks. As you can imagine, it was complete chaos there. The lights had gone, cards were no longer accepted, but they were still operating. We got a battery driven radio, flashlights, batteries, alcohol, and a lot of food.
When we got home, it had gotten dark. The kids were afraid and so had been put to sleep. The wind was coming back, and so I sat there with the parents and a Nicaraguan medicine student, drinking and listening to the radio.
The stations from León all sounded like the end of the world was coming. We heard about the whole coast being destroyed for the first time. They called for people an school to take refugees in.
it was again quite odd, for for us everything was ok, except that tree that might fall into one of our rooms. The owner of the place came by, and made us put out everything that could hold water in the rain, in case we would be out of water for days on end. His house on the beach had been completely destroyed. The roof was just gone.
Finally I also thought about the fact that the next day, the party conference in Oslo was to start, and that I was the only one who could do their computer system. The Norwegian embassy had called a few times earlier that day, but I hadn’t thought about it then. Instead, we decided that the woman in that couple would call her father. Once he saw her calling, he would immediately call back. Then she would ask him to call the husband of her husband’s sister, who happened to be a party member.
Apparently that’s how the information came to Oslo, and the next morning they had to announce that their computer guy was missing in action in a hurricane.
Another few hours later, ti became clear that there wouldn’t be another hit, and so we just went to bed. The next day the internet would be back because we live right next to the hospital here, but city was pretty much destroyed.