In the Lianga area, the period covering the Christmas week until the first week of January has always been historically characterized by cloudy and rainy weather. As far as I can remember during my childhood days in this town and even to this very day, wet and cold weather has always accompanied the local Yuletide and New Year celebrations.
Not that the people here ever felt unduly oppressed or gravely inconvenienced by the frequent showers and the often bitterly cold mornings that seem to always herald the dying of the old year and the birth of the new. Instead, the local folk, as a consequence perhaps of the town's deep rural and agricultural roots, have always looked upon the year-ender rains as perennial proof of Mother Nature's benevolence, a watery benediction or blessing of sorts which, as part of the regular and cyclical passing of the seasons, ushers in the start of the coming year and, more importantly, the next rice planting season.
Occasionally however, the rains can get out of hand as they did more than a week ago. New Year's Day had been only a little damp and mildly wet but on the day after the celebrations ended, the rain started pouring down in torrents for hours on end. The heavy downpour continued throughout the night and much of next day. When January 3 dawned, many areas of Lianga were already threatened by rising water levels.