Peering out of the side windows I could see the tortured sullen faces of refugees, dejected, drenched and disorientated, trying to cope with yet another scourge. Some were waist deep in the murky swell frantically trying to get their offspring to higher ground.
Others worked anxiously to salvage what they could or to liberate mired vehicles that had fallen foul of the inclement climate. To these people, this must have been a nightmare of the foulest kind. It was enough just to cope with being relocated far from home and in an unfamiliar landscape, but all of this must have been convincing them that they journeyed into a preordained oblivion.
Only a few seasons earlier – as the dry winds of Al Nina had parched the land – this downpour descending from the heavens would have been a blessing. At that time the Grim Reaper mercilessly scarred the sun-scorched earth despite the needs of the weak, the weary and the hungry masses. Now he had returned cloaked in rain clouds and charging every droplet to do its worst whilst consummating its marriage with the inundation emerging below.
Nature had once again turned to tormentor.
Their wretchedness would not end even after it had subsided.
Excessive water is like a double edged sword both giving and taking away. As the flooding receded it would leave pools, ponds and quagmires, the breeding places for all sorts of diseases that would surely take its toll upon this hapless prey.
(JHC 1st January 2006)