By Cecilia Alice Sesay
I still remember the sound the rocks and trees made when they fell. It was as if bombs were going off. I was 19 years old then and asleep when it started, after three days of intense rainfall.
My little sister was the first to see that our house was flooding. When she woke me, our belongings were floating out of the house. When I put my feet down from the bed, I could feel only water.
I was in shock, thinking that this was happening only to us, but then I heard our neighbours shouting and crying too. Everyone in the community was helpless. At this point, I could see dead bodies floating in the water in front of my house. There were human heads, legs, hands that had been cut off by the trees or rocks falling on them. I keep having flashbacks about it, especially when it rains… I get lost in these thoughts. It’s a life-long consequence.
Houses were destroyed, the Kanigobridge was broken, everyone was struggling to survive. More than 3,000 people were left homeless and many lost their lives, including my friends and neighbours. I lost my best friend whose body was found hanging on a tree the following morning. Even now, we don’t know how his body got attached to the tree.