Thursday, May 28, 2009



We were woke up at 2:30 a.m. this morning by an earthquake. In our ground floor house it sounded like a strong windstorm, with vibrations of the walls and bed. The three story annex building, third story made of wood, made the most noises. The metal roofing and wooden trusses were groaning and popping nails. The metal sheeting rattling like a ghost with chains. We could hear the tinkling of broken glass.
This morning a survey showed that the third floor wooden building had lost plates, bowls and glasses off the shelves in the apartment kitchen and about $20 worth had broken from the earthquake vibrations. We are around 200 miles from the epicenter, which is the seismic fault that runs parallel deep in the ocean off the Northern Honduras coast. The epicenter was between Roatan island and the mainland coastal mountain range.
A cable television station in Spain, on channel 51 gave the first news of the epicenter and 7.1 Earthquake about 20 minutes later. Followed about two hours later by International CNN in the USA. Nobody else was reporting on the earthquake until daylight.
The land ripples were small in wave length and more or less indicated the seismic fault had the two sides slipping and grinding in opposite directions, very slowly. The quake lasted about 5 minutes. There were no after tremors.
Early morning reports in Belize are of a couple of house collapses and structural damage in the Southern area of Belize, mostly around Monkey river, Placentia and Punta Gorda. A water tower collapsed and a fuel station sank into the sea. Some small shallow sink holes. Houses and concrete beams effected here and there.
We get an earthquake effects about every ten years in Belize. Usually from this Northern Honduras ocean fault, or over in Mexico or Guatemala far away on the Pacific side. The worst I have experience occurred in the 1970’s.
When it comes to catastrophe and disasters, it is more dangerous driving to work on the FREEWAY in Miami, 1 ½ hours each way in rush hour traffic, than taking natural disasters in Belize. That’s my opinion anyway.

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