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September 2014 – Chris Llewellyn's "Birds Eye Views"

Month: September 2014

Odile #6

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Courtesy Ventana View:

A bit more hurricane info…. a La Paz radio interview .. a calmer voice:





Courtesy of the Gringo Gazette:  September 17, 2014  (Thx to Pony Express)

  • President Peña Nieto is in La Paz with his cabinet.
  • The road to La Paz is passable but it’s down to one lane.
  • Food is running out fast, most of the stores have been looted.
  • The mexican government started to airlift the more than 30,000 stranded tourists from Cabo to Tijuana, Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City in government and commercial airplanes free of charge since yesterday.
  • The Cabo airport is not working with the exception of government flights.
  • La Paz airport is working, some tourists are driving up to La Paz to take a plane.
  • David Flores, our editor in Cabo has counted 75 Electric Poles that are down on the ground, he says the real number could be more than double that.
  • There are 200 CFE trucks on their way to Cabo from mainland Mexico and northern Baja
  • The mexican government and different associations are flying in food to La Paz, the government will be distributing the food.
  • There is only one single OXXO in Cabo that hasn’t been looted.
  • There is a collpased bridge south of Los Barriles so nobody can get to San Jose from Los Barriles.
  • You probably won’t hear from your loved ones in Cabo or La Paz until the power grid is restored, this doesn’t mean something bad happened to them, there is just no communication.


The main storm surge came at night and after power went out, so nothing much to see during that dark and stormy night.  The bridge at Cuaduaña is said to have collapsed (haven’t seen that yet) but the road to La Paz is supposedly open now.  There were lots of rocks and such past the BA bridge on the hillside going up to the over look of the San Bartolo arroyo but the lane opposite the hill was clear and most of that debris is now moved.  Santa Cruz was passable today into La Ribera, but the beach road lost about 12 feet just past the entrance to the marina.

     nternet was out for 30+ hours or so after Odile headed north and cut the fiber optic lines around Mulege, but seems to have returned now along with long distance calling. Tuesday only had local land line calls.

     Cell service still seems to be mostly gone as of now. If you need to make a call from the states, call someone you know with a land line number as those seem to be working now.  Or email, but people will need generator power to get the latter.

The San Bartolo Arroyo

BA Arroyo 1

Odile Update #5

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We just spoke with our caretakers (Vista de las Brisas area).  Land phone lines were restored last night.  There is not much food in town or propane available.  The road to La Paz is open but there is looting at all the stores, same in Cabo and San Jose del Cabo.

Major damage in Cabo,  San Jose del Cabo and La Paz.  Our area did not suffer much damage with the exception of water in some houses and landscaping.  The arroyos have stopped running and the bridge is out near the water park at Caduano.  Los Barriles to La Ribera is open.  We have a lot to be thankful for as everyone appears to be safe and the next hurricane is moving Westward.

Odile Update #4

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Mexico Airlifts Tourists After Hurricane Odile

Mexico Tropical Weather


The Mexican government began airlifting the first of tens of thousands of stranded tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos on Tuesday, as residents picked up the pieces of shattered, flooded homes.

The Interior Ministry said military and commercial planes were carrying travelers out through the Los Cabos international airport, which remained closed to commercial flights due to damage suffered when Hurricane Odile tore through the area late Sunday and Monday.

Travelers were being flown free of charge to airports in Tijuana, Mazatlan, Guadalajara and Mexico City to catch connecting flights and, in the case of foreigners, receive consular assistance.

Fatai Oshi-Ojuri, a tourist from Oakland, California, was among the first to get out on a Federal Police jet. He said the airport in Los Cabos was a mess: roof panels and electrical wiring down, signs and windows shattered, and the terminal full of water.

“That was like a scene from ‘The Walking Dead,'” he said by phone from Mazatlan, where he was waiting for an Alaska Airlines flight to Los Angeles.

Oshi-Ojuri had come to Mexico with his girlfriend for a long weekend to celebrate his 30th birthday when Hurricane Odile roared onshore and cut their vacation short.

“It’s been an interesting experience to say the least,” he said.

Officials estimated it would take two days to ferry out the 30,000 tourists who were being put up in temporary refuges or hotel areas converted to shelters. Some 26,000 of those were foreigners, primarily from the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

Thousands in the state of Baja California Sur remained without electricity, water or phone service. A boat was on its way with humanitarian aid, and authorities were working to restore utilities.

President Enrique Pena Nieto was scheduled to tour the area later, after presiding over an independence day military parade in the capital.

Downgraded to a tropical storm, Odile began moving into the Gulf of California and was expected to near the U.S. state of Arizona late Wednesday as a tropical depression. Forecasters said it was still capable of unleashing dangerous flash floods and mudslides.

In Los Cabos, Enrique Cota wept as he stood in murky, ankle-deep water and surveyed the destruction at his home. On the kitchen wall, a muddy mark nearly waist-high showed how deep the floodwaters got.

“We’ll have to start over, little by little,” Cota said, “because the stove, the refrigerator, the television, the kid’s computer — it’s all ruined.”

He rode out Odile’s landfall in a shelter with firefighters, and said he hadn’t slept for two days.

Homes, stores and resorts along Los Cabos’ famed hotel row all suffered severe damage, with room windows shattered, facades crumbled and lobbies full of debris.

Emergency officials in Baja California reported that 135 people were treated for minor injuries from flying glass or falling objects.

But surprisingly for a hurricane of this intensity — it made landfall as a monster Category 3 storm — there were no reports so far of fatalities directly related to Odile.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that by Tuesday night Tropical Storm Odile had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph (85 kph). It was centered about 110 miles (180 kilometers) south of Puerto Penasco, and was moving to the north near 7 mph (11 kph).

Farther south in the Pacific, Tropical Storm Polo formed off southern Mexico Tuesday evening. It was centered 235 miles (375 kilometers) south-southwest of Acapulco with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), and was moving northwest parallel to the coast at 12 mph (19 kph). The hurricane center predicted that Polo could become a hurricane by Wednesday night.

Meanwhile in the central Atlantic, Hurricane Edouard was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph (150 kph). It was forecast to pose no threat to land.


Associated Press writers Maria Verza and Peter Orsi contributed from Mexico City.

Odile Update #3 La Ventana

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Amigos, This is the only specific report received from our area….probably for lack of power or internet.  R.

“(Monday) Odile blew in for about 7 hours at hurricane force winds which did major damage to plants. Everything is still green but missing half their leaves and lots of branches.  Palapas, tin roofs and electric/phone poles damaged.  According to Rigo there are at least 10 poles down before the cross roads and one right here at the resort.  Lines are down on the ground everywhere.  He says La Paz radio says it could be ten days before we have power/phone, because of the next one coming they may not address much of it till the new one passes.  We had very little rain, maybe another 3 inches but not much more rutting or erosion than from the last rain.  Mary S”

Tropical Storm Polo seems to be next.   http://www.eebmike.com/



Odile Update #2

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Storm Update

September 16, 2014

Cabo San Lucas took a direct hit from Hurricane Odile which swept ashore as a category 3 125 mph wallop.

Because windows were blowing out, resorts walked tourists into basement maintenance areas and into stairwells.

Numerous utility poles were blown down, officials estimate it will be weeks before all barrios have full electric power again.

There was widespread looting of stores, mostly Oxxos, which lost most of their windows. Sailors from our navy base tried to stop it, but they were outnumbered. Most of them were helping to evacuate the low lying neighborhoods, driving those without cars to shelters, trying to talk homeowners fearful of their homes being looted in their absence, into getting into the government trucks.

If you have not heard from friends and family who you know are down there, it is probably not that they’ve been injured, more likely their cell phone batteries are now dead and there is no place to charge them.

There have been about 135 injuries, mostly cuts from flying glass. There are no official reports of any deaths.

Los Cabos International Airport was left heavily damaged and is expected to remain closed for at least a week.

To see more, go to our website www.gringogazette.com



Odile Update #1

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In This Issue:

Featured Events This Week 

Local Services Directory 

Rides or Caravans Available/Wanted 

The Pet Corner – Lost and Found 

Police / Fire Department 

     Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — Hurricane Odile Storm Reports 

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Frequently Asked Questions


Hurricane Odile Storm Report – Hurricane Odile made landfall early Monday with an intensity unprecedented for Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The Category 3 storm made a direct hit on Cabo San Lucas, bringing 125 mph winds and six hours of rain.

Widespread power outages, flooding and wind damage were reported as some residents and tourists emerged late Monday morning to assess the damage the powerful storm left behind.

Room windows at the Westin were blown out, mud and rock blocked the entrance to the Club Regina and workers said the Hilton was seriously damaged.

The newspaper Tribuna de los Cabos reported people being injured by flying glass, power lines and traffic signals down throughout the city (English Translation). (Courtesy, The Weather Channel) ☞

<—Damage at San Jose Del Cabo Airport

Scenes of Damage in Cabo San Lucas. Additional Photos HERE (Courtesy The Weather Channel)

Eyewitness Report From Cabo San Lucas – Storm chaser Josh Morgerman of iCyclone weathered the storm in a hotel a couple hundred yards from the Bahia de Santiago in Cabo San Lucas. His reports, detailed on Dr. Jeff Masters’ Blog, painted a picture of an extremely violent and dangerous hurricane landfall: wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2799. (Courtesy, Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground) ☞

Reports From Todos Santos / Pescadero – We were able to get a storm report and photos from Todos Santos, courtesy of Alvaro Colindres’ FaceBook Page:

Odile took it’s toll on downtown Todos Santos. Carla’s loncheria totally gone. The CFE building totally trashed. However CFE workers are mobilizing. Lots of Power polls down, and poles down along highway to LP. They say it will be at least a week without power. The Church seemed Untouched. Now, we begin the clean up and Rebuilding Process! More to follow….

(Courtesy, Alvaro Colindres, Todos Santos) ☞

Scenes of Damage in Todos Santos (Courtesy, Alvaro Colindres, Todos Santos)

More Photos HERE (facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202392484325537&set=pcb.10202392504886051&type=1&theater

and HERE (facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=760513427349386&set=t.100002633727315&type=1&theater )

Photo Courtesy BCSNoticias.mx

Additional Damage Report For La Paz/Todos Santos (Courtesy, Televisa) – Translated: LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, Sep. 15 2014.- Baja California Sur was declared a disaster area after category III Hurricane “Odile”. La Paz, the state capital, is one of the most affected. The damage can be seen in the streets and neighborhoods in the center and the periphery. “We need to restore the most urgent thing first, and that is the drinking water” “the priority is to restore services,” Marcos Covarrubias, governor of Baja California Sur said.

The most affected colonies in La Paz are:

  • Agua Escondida
  • Olas Altas
  • La Pitaya
  • El Calandrio
  • Marquez de León

Classes in schools at all levels were suspended in La Paz, Los Cabos and Comondú and national celebrations were cancelled. The La Paz airport remains closed as are the seaports. The General Hospital “Juan Maria de Salvatierra” suffered damage in 50% of their structure and the electric power generating plant failed. The Central Health Centers in Todos Santos and Pescadero were closed because of damage.

The state government said the fuel supply will be restricted and will be dispensed only to hospitals, shelters and aid support programs. “Gasoline is available exclusively for official vehicles right now. Until we have electricity, there obviously will not be any gas stations working,” said Marcos Covarrubias, Governor of BCS. More than 200 members of the Mexican Army are aiding families affected through Plan DN-III. Also, 150 federal police officers arrived to assist with security duties. This Monday “Odile” moved north of the state. In Ciudad Constitution and Comondú, about 2 thousand [persons affected by the storm] were reported.

Jose Guadalupe Ramirez Nunez Comondú city official, said [the town sustained] winds of between 150 and 190 kms. per hour, with downed trees, poles, and electrical wiring in the town. The wind destroyed greenhouses, severely affecting agricultural producers. Seven temporary shelters were opened, serving at least 7,000 people. Authorities said “Odile” moved north of the state with other [weather] phenomenon progresses in the Mexican Pacific. So far there have been no reported fatalities.

Original article en Español: noticieros.televisa.com/mexico-estados/1409/baja-california-sur-zona-desastre-odile/ ☞  

Additional Photos and Reports – Please send us reports and photos or links to pages and we’ll publish them as space allows. Reports and links to pages can be submitted through the Baja Western Onion web site at bajawesternonion.com/submitarticle.asp (use the Additional Comments section if you need more room). Photos or links to pages can be submitted directly to Moderator@BajaWesternOnion.com. Stay Safe, everyone. ☞