The rains continue in Agadez. Rain that everyone prays for, that is so good for the nomads became a catastrophe for Agadez. Last night the water which had been building up in the mountains released a flash flood larger than anyone has ever seen. At one o’clock in the morning the water came thundering through collapsing and sweeping away houses animals and people.
It started gently. I was sheltering at the Internet center along with the goats. Waiting for my ride.
It is not a good idea for me to drive the beautiful car we have for the foundation because it could too easily be stolen. 4wd vehicles are all parked at the police station at night for protection from the bandits who want to take them across the desert to Algeria, Mali or Mauritania to sell. This is one of the side effects of the rebellion and state of emergency. If people don’t have enough to eat or any hope of work many turn to stealing and a chaotic government attracts bandits from outside as well.
I made it back to my house before the real storm hit. I am on high ground and had just repaired by house from the last storm so I wasn’t aware of how much damage had been done until the morning. No one could cross the city. The power and water were out and an estimated 4000 houses were completely swept away and 7,000 refugees in the streets. In standing water a mud brick house simply melts and collapses. Eleven dead have been found in the rubble, but there is no estimate of how many were swept away. It is such a tragedy that everyone is in shock.
I hope some aid agencies come in soon. We often complain about how FEMA and our emergency services work, but at least we have them. Here they depend on help from the outside and do not really even expect that. They just cope.
Flooded streets. Collapsed houses.
Yesterday this was one of the largest travel agencies in Agadez.
The collapsed roofs sitting on the cars