A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Sept. 12, 2007 – Today, after the waterspout hit San Juan Cosala before dawn, there were huge amounts of water, rocks, and mud rushing down the streets.

We went down to the main highway, or carretera, where this picture shows mud, large equipment, people and trucks. We went several blocks along there, getting our shoes wet and muddy, in my case well over my ankles due to a bad guess about the roadway. After that I stopped worrying and walked anywhere.

We chatted with a number of people, including a friend of ours. He said that his grandparents had lost their house. It was this one that we had just walked past on the carretera:

Water was still flowing through it, though not a lot by this time. I asked where they were, and he said they had gone to the plaza, where bedding, food, diapers, and other things were being distributed. I wanted to go down there but it would have been quite a muddy walk and we decided not to.

We’ve heard that a number of people were hurt, but nobody we spoke to knew of anyone who had died, though there may have been some. No way to know from here at this point. (UPDATE: Amazingly, there were no deaths as a direct result of the mudslides.)

I asked several local people if this had in fact been a waterspout, and the consensus was yes. There was one some ten years ago in this area, but nobody remembered any since then.

I have been very impressed with the government response. Quite early this morning, a helicopter landed in our neighborhood and I talked with the two officials, who were there to assess the situation. They were able to tell me that San Juan Cosala had borne the brunt of the storm, though they hadn’t yet been to Jocotepec to our west, where it was still raining. I heard the helicopter take off over an hour later, and in fact there have been helicopters around all day.

Here, a truck of firemen is following an ambulance which had come out from the city of Guadalajara to help. There are many, many firemen and other officials, as well as many local people, helping out. The general atmosphere is friendly. We’ve chatted with a lot of people in the streets.

Kelly and I feel very grateful that we suffered no damage. The night before this, we’d had a leak directly over my side of the bed, and I’d put a raincoat and towel over my spot and slept on the sofa until the rainstorm passed. Yesterday Kelly had been able to find and replace a broken tile that was the cause of the leak. Not a drop came through there this morning.

Well, that’s about all I know at this point.

8 Comments from the old blog:

  • At September 12, 2007 7:06 PM,  Anonymous said…

    Hola Rosana y Kelly,
    I’m so sorry to hear of this tragedy in SJC, but am glad to hear you are OK. I just found out around 6PM; am shocked.
    Take good care & hope to see you sometime soon.

  • At September 12, 2007 7:29 PM,  Anonymous said…

    Hi, i,ve been following your comments for several weeks now and i want to thank you for all the information and pictures about San Juan Cosala specially during this difficult time.

  • At September 12, 2007 7:56 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    You’re welcome! One reason we did it is that we’ve heard so many rumors that seem to exaggerate the situation… though of course, I’ve only seen a small part of the town!

  • At September 12, 2007 8:38 PM,  elliott said…

    Hi Rosana, just want to add my thanks. Your great pix are being linked all over the place, including at lifestylerefugee, and we’re all happy to be getting first hand info. I’m a fan!

  • At September 12, 2007 11:00 PM,  Anonymous said…

    I also am happy to har that you are ok and very much appreciate the information and pictures about San Juan Cosala. I have a dear friend who lives there and have been unable to reach her. You have been the only way I have found out what is going on, I will keep checking your site.
    Take care.

  • At September 13, 2007 12:06 AM,  Steve said…

    Thanks for the updates and especially the photos!

  • At September 13, 2007 12:49 AM,  Anonymous said…

    hi rosana,
    I have a friend that has family in SAN JUAN COSALA HE ASKED ME TO SEARCH ON THE NET TO SEE PICS OF SJC. HE SAID HIS HOUSE IN SJC IS DESTROYED AND WANTED TO SEE PICS OS HIS TOWN. HE LIVES IN CLAIFORNIA USA. THANK U FOR THE INFO I WILL SHOW HIM THIS SITE TOMORROW.
    THANK U

  • At September 13, 2007 9:43 AM,  Rosana Hart said…

    According to a friend’s summary of the Guadalajara TV news last night, about half of the houses in the Raquet Club suffered some damage, with 5 being damaged beyond repair. No deaths are known of at this time, which is a lot better than the rumors I heard yesterday.

  • Keep in mind that this is not 100% certain, but it comes from a good source. She also had heard from somewhere that the carretera will open again perhaps tomorrow, Friday.

  • We’ll be going out later today (Thursday) for more photos and stories.

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