"Teatro in Time of Plague – 59

The vanguard of Hurricane Eta is upogn us. When I awoke in the morning it was raining hard, Mitch-style, and kept going until about 11:00. It paused for a bit, then set out anew, continuing at various intensities into the evening. It has quickly gone from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane, which they predict will make landfall tomorrow at the Honduras/Nicaragua border. There seems to be a lot of flooding already, and this is only starting. The judge in New York Kevin Castell postponed for the fourth and final time the sentencing hearing for Tony Hernandez. The hearing has been reprogrammed for 27 January 2021 at 2:00 p.m. The count is up to 23 victims of the adulterated alcohol. The weather was perfect for an extended siesta.

Tuesday, November 3 - 98, 212 cases, 2, 675 deaths.

Election day in the States. Hurricane Eta made landfall early this morning as a category 4 hurricane, around Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua, It’s moving very slowly directly to the west. It is headed straight to Tegucigalpa if it keeps on the same path. Here in Progreso it’s been a day of tense waiting; overcast but not much rain. There is a great deal of rain in the mountains, and rivers are swollen and there is already considerable flooding. Tela and the towns along the road to Ceiba are heavily flooded already.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 98, 688 cases, 2, 706 deaths.

I spent the day glued to the two different news fronts: the US election results and the progress of Hurricane Eta. Eta was downgraded this morning to a category 2 storm. The eye entered Honduras in the department of El Paraiso at about 2:00 this afternoon, moving in the direction of Tegucigalpa. Reports from Tegucigalpa point to considerable wind. Here in Progreso it started raining seriously last night at about sundown, it rained all night and has continued all day. Mitch-style rain. There are floods everywhere, bridges and roads washed out. I didn’t go out all day. We even have a bit of flooding in the house in San Jose: the zone where we park cars is flooded. I ventured in up to my knees in water to get my car out and parked on higher ground. Luckily it started without problem and I managed to get it out. But I was soaked in the process. We haven’t had any significant wind. The prediction is that the eye of the storm will hit Tegucigalpa and turn north, possibly directly at us then out to the sea again to glide up the Belize coast to Yucatán. In that process it will degrade into a tropical storm then a tropical depression: keeping the rain up the whole time and regaining force over the water

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - No internet

The rain stopped at about 2:00 am. When I awoke at 6:30 or so, it was quiet. It has remained quiet all day. The rain seems to have passed, but it has left behind massive flooding. The Río Pelo breached the levee near the teatro, and the building is surrounded by water; but the building itself is built up on slightly higher ground and doesn’t seem to be in danger. A section of the road to the San José house was washed out and only a four-wheel-drive vehicle could get by it, but they are working on that this very minute. Luis’ mother’s house in Palermo is under water. Luis’ own apartment is ok. As far as I know everybody else of the teatro is ok. I’m not sure yet of the state of bridges. I know there is no passing the road to Yoro: there is both a bridge out and a wash out at distinct places. I’m not sure of the bridge at Sta. Rita; the provisional railroad bridge is out, but I’m not sure if the new bridge is whole and functioning. The passage to San Pedro Sula is ok, it seems. I think it is passable here to Tela; not sure about Tela to Ceiba. La Ceiba to the Aguán valley has a major bridge out. The birds are chirping.

Friday, 6 November, 2020 - No internet.

Noon No internet. No telephones. No water (in the pipes; plenty of it everywhere around). The airport is flooded. The whole valley, from here to San Pedro, is flooded. Those of us on higher ground are in a state of suspended animation. At least we can keep connected to the results of the US election by television – the cable is working and it has CNN International. Radio Progreso is down. Evening There are an estimated 40,000 in shelters in Progreso. Those shelters are mostly schools. The gym of the Jesuit technical school next to the teatro is sheltering some 200 prisoners from the Progreso jail, which is under water. (There are other prisoners in the municipal gym downtown). Radio Progreso is back on the air. Internet and telephones continue without service, and we continue without water in the house.

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 99,576 cases, 2, 741 deaths

Noon The sun came out this morning. Things are a mess. La Lima, the airport and Ciudad Planeta are completely flooded. Private speed boats are rescuing people from their roofs. The government is conspicuously absent. We have internet and telephones back. Still no water – the word is the major water main has broken.

Keep safe and wash your hands,





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