We didn’t see it coming

According to NoticiaCla.com, more than 70mm of water was dumped on the island starting Sunday late at night, double the amount of water we received during the brief visit of hurricane Matthew, just recently.

It took us completely by surprise, we did not see it coming, I understand that more than 50 homes were totally inundated, many more damaged, cars submerged, beach destruction, property loss, we will never know the total assessment, because it seems there is no one in charge of disaster or crisis prevention and management.

In fact THIS MORNING I saw a weather advisory from Curacao warning against severe weather.

Did you see one in Aruba?


What would an advisory do?

We could do a lot in even less than 12 hours, move equipment indoor, cleaning drains, move cars out of the way. We could have saved a lot of money had we known!

The only source of information was broadcasting queen Erin Croes, Magic 96.5fm who took it upon herself to show and tell, via Facebook Live; she drove everywhere and reported on the situation. Thank you so much.

Where else could we find information?

Tell me?

I really want some head to roll. Enough.

The bureau of infrastructure need to take a good look at itself. They have been digging for years behind Royal Plaza, in Front of the Valero Gas Station in Noord, on Sasakiweg, spending millions, and nada, all the big plans for NOTHING, the same old placed inundated because building permits are granted without water and drain management.

On May 8th, 2016, I wrote an article about Crisis management in Aruba https://batibleki.wheninaruba.com/8am-buzz/crisis-management-in-aruba-tfu-tfu-tfu-may-nothing-ever-happen/

None of the things we talked about in the two-hour seminar happened.  I am quoting:

“Seminar-goers were reassured by Nico Arts, Acting Director, and Rino Hermans, Team Member, that proper Emergency Planning is undertaken by the Aruban government, Crisis Management Office, together with the response agencies to ensure that the local communities are assisted and supported.”

Really?! Where were Nico and Rino when we needed them?

I also said, which I am sure was followed up on, by the international brands running our hotels:

“….the government wanted to tell the business community to wake up and write a plan, develop and implement policies that will help in crisis with effective disaster response to guarantee the overall safety of the life and health of the population and the island’s transient hotel guests.”

So here we are on the morning after. Cleaning and picking up, my former neighbor said on his Facebook page: Saka awa for di 3 kas. Kibra 4 cura di kas pa awa sali. Koba 2 rooi pa awa sigi bai. Saka 12 auto pega. Juda un colega cu su kas a jena cu awa. What a long day. What a amazing feeling to help people in need in desperate times. Body a keda na werki. Pero e satisfaction cu bo ta hanja ora bo sali pa juda bo pueblo ta impagable and it was all worth it. Going home to my family now. Hope mi por lanta pa bai traha manjan. Love you Aruba. And always will. Special thanks pa mi dos soldat nan cu a bai all out cumi awe.

He worked like a dog for 12 hours, on rescue operations, and he is grateful and in love with his island. That’s Aruba for you!

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November 21, 2016
Rona Coster