Last night, it started to rain pretty heavily around 7pm in Managua. While I was at a friend’s house, safe and dry save for a small crack in the ceiling, a few blocks away the neighborhood 8 de mayo was completely unaware of what would soon happen. The neighborhood is a poorer neighborhood in Managua, separated from the neighboring gated residence Lomas de Valle by a large cement retaining wall. With all of the rain, the wall collapsed and fell onto 3 houses in the 8 de mayo neighborhood, burying alive the families inside. Rescue workers labored all night and we able to save 2 children, while another 9 people (between ages 2 and 50) died.
Some say that the families were told the area was unsafe and to leave, but those families obviously did not have the resources to just pick up and move. The father of the 2 rescued girls says that he went to the city to complain once before, because he saw that he the wall was beginning to fall apart.
Whatever the situation was, this was a horrible tragedy that could have been prevented. When awful things happen like this, it gives me a terrible sense of helplessness. Why did this happen? Why were these families living in an unsafe area? It makes me want to call my loved ones and be grateful, BUT more than that it makes me pretty angry and upset that these families weren’t protected. HOW can we work to prevent this from happening again? At least for the moment, we can be sure that all Managuan residents have their eyes and ears on the government, waiting and demanding for something to change.
Until then, please say a prayer for the nine people who lost their lives last night.
photo credit to the newspaper el nuevo diario.