In seconds Shrimp was up and wading thigh high in the flood torrents retrieving our belongings which were being swept away. Then minutes later he was clinging precariously to the lid of our water tank, while he sawed through the pipes holding our electric pump in place, centimetres from where the river is rising.
In the dawn’s early light it continued to rise, breaking the bridges, tearing down the electric lines, submerging the village and rushing into homes and businesses with reckless force and destructive abandon.
As the river continues to rage we sandbag and fortify as best we can, and watch helplessly the whitewater torrents rip our street apart. As the storm continues hours turn into days and days, drinking water runs low, gasoline runs out, candles are all burned down and darkness prevails. There is no way in or out for people or supplies, no phone lines, internet, lights, electric or cooking gas. We are cut off.
The elders in the village say they have never seen a storm like this in living memory, and they shake their heads at the topsy turvy world we live in with its monsoon cyclones in hot, dry, March. And all the while we thank our lucky stars and extend our hearts to Japan.