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martes, octubre 18, 2011

Hurricane Wilma's Sixth Anniversary

In 2005 Hurricane Wilma, a category 5 storm, arrived in Bahia Soliman, just north of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It would later destroy much of Cancun and move on to the United States. It was a slow moving storm, and it hammered the Riviera Maya for two days. Tulum was without electricity for a long time, roads were impassable, people were stranded. Roofs were gone; windows were vaporized; sand was everywhere; trees and power poles fell. Many were injured and some 8 people died here. That was six years ago on October 19 and 20.

In the small community of Bahia Soliman everyone fled for the interior, for Coba, Valladolid, Merida, Chichen Itza, for points west. Anywhere that was at least 100 miles from the Caribe. While everyone was gone, the storm raged. And destroyed. Houses filled with sea water and sand. In some there was 4 feet of sand in the living room. Swimming pools were filled. With sand. Roofs were ripped off. Windows broken. Trees snapped. The mangrove flooded the road, making travel impossible. Electricity vanished. Cell service was out. Telephone lines were down. The normally peaceful Caribe became outraged and extremely agitated. Tulum was a complete mess. And unreachable from the outside.

The Caribe became so turbulent that it deposited this smuggler’s ship on the beach about 10 feet above the usual water level in Bahia Solima. It’s been sitting there on the beach ever since. This is a photo of its front, where its name should be.

So, what is the name of this vessel? And to whom did it belong? And where did it come from? And what was it doing before the storm hit? And what happened to its crew? Nobody seems to know. Nobody has tried to claim it. Nobody has tried to move it. And the places in it where its cargo might be stored were empty when it arrived.

It’s a phantom ship. One with no name. And no registry. And no crew. And no apparent owner. And no destination.

And now it’s a Monument to an enormous, killer storm. And this is its Sixth Anniversary.

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