Saturday, May 30, 2009

Earthquake followup

We continue to have aftershocks; just after we went to bed last night, I felt some mild shaking three times, one lasting several seconds. People living on the beach reported almost hourly aftershocks felt Thursday, with the strongest one late in the day actually being a 4.8 earthquake.
We felt some of those up on the hill.

The USGS site gave this summary of the quakes (times are UTC, not local):

y/m/d h:m:s
MAP 4.6 2009/05/29 12:51:03 15.359 -86.463 10.0 HONDURAS
MAP 4.5 2009/05/29 02:45:44 16.118 -87.591 10.0 OFFSHORE HONDURAS
MAP 4.8 2009/05/28 09:06:25 16.353 -87.377 10.0 OFFSHORE HONDURAS
MAP 7.3 2009/05/28 08:24:45 16.730 -86.209 10.0 OFFSHORE HONDURAS

As we've been out talking with people, checking on friends, we've come to realize just how blessed we are to be up on our hill. Many people in our northwest area of the island, Sandy Bay, had problems, especially on the beach. Our friends Colin, Kellie and Moe, just moved to the beach a month ago. Their home suffered cracked walls, tiles, pieces falling from the ceiling, lots of breakage. Their neighbor and landlord incurred even more damage (identical concrete houses) with cracked plumbing, grout popping out of tiles. Our friends, Bob and Debi, just down the beach from Colin, found nearly everything in their kitchen broken on the floor. One of the shop owners told me about her "500 lb. television" falling off the wall [cabinet] onto the floor and not breaking. She said lots of glasses tumbled out of cabinets, but only a few broke. It seems like many of the restaurants and souvenir shops in West End came through it just fine.

Some of our friends were diving during one of the smaller quakes and felt it as an underwater "boom". Don and many others recall hearing the ocean roar during and right after the quakes. I guess I was too terrified to even register that sound among all the other noises.

We know from reading online reports that the mainland had several deaths, even more injuries, a few houses (poorly constructed) and one bridge collapsing. Just read that up in one of the mountainous areas about 100 mud brick homes collapsed and several churches of similar construction were also destroyed.

We are taking Dave and Tracy, who arrived safely at noon on Thursday, out to the east end of the island today. Our friend, Debi, is coming along as a "tour guide" to show Dave the best scenic shots. They are both avid photographers. Tracy, an ecologist, is anxious to see the mostly undeveloped side of the island. It's been very hot and rather hazy here. I'm hoping it clears off as we head east.

Still feeling blessed on Roatan....

1 comment:

  1. just to clarify... not everything in the kitchen broke.. the stuff on the top shelf above the cupboards came crashing down, and whatever else on the shelves broke like glasses and honduran pottery. food stuff and spices tumbled out when i opened the cupboards.
    but not everything.. that would be really terrible!