Thursday, May 28, 2009

Earthquake in Honduras

We don't know a great deal about earthquakes, but we do know that we just had an earthquake here in La Ceiba, Honduras. Tom was on his way to the bathroom and I was fast asleep when our concrete house started to wiggle. It was moving enough that it woke me up from a deep sleep. We judge that it was a 9.5 on the Richter scale, but this is coming from a couple Midwestern North Americans. We could hear a low rumble out in the streets and the framed photos on our walls were swinging back and forth. We'll try to find out where the epicenter was later this morning. We'll do this by comparing stories with our neighbors. I'm pretty sure the epicenter was in our house. We had well over 30 seconds of sustained shaking. Wow.

It was super freaky. Now, we're both wide awake because we can hardly believe it! Ezekiel slept right through it all. Must have been his cuddly pjs.

***UPDATE***We just learned that the initial USGS measurement was 7.3 for the earthquake off the coast of Honduras. AND we're in a Tsunami watch! But NOAA doesn't believe that the earthquake was the type that typically would produce a tsunami. Just in case, they've issued a watch and would predict that the tsunami would make landfall around 8:45am. Wow.

USGS Info -- HERE

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

We felt it way over here in Belize. alfreddy_carvajal@yahoo.com

pachamama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hogardeninos said...

we felt it over here in Guatemala City as well. so far it is listed as a 7.1 and was off shore by the island of Guanaja. it was one of the longest ones I have felt in awhile. Are all of you ok?

Karine and Tom said...

We're fine, but holy buckets! That was exciting!

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that my husband just happened to wake up minutes before the quake started. We felt the ground shake for the full amount of time. It seemed to just keep going and going!

Chris said...

Make sure you have supplies of clean water. A E-quake of this size can damage infrastructure, etc. It could break pipes and will certainly "shake" up all the pipes so that the water may not be clean. Remember: there will be aftershocks!

hogardeninos said...

Here in Guatemala I was awake in bed as well when it started, and I was like maybe I should get up, but normally they end as soon as i do. this one just kept going and going. 30 seconds in an earthquake is very LONG!!!! Please be careful!!!!

Anonymous said...

We thought our house was going to come off it's concrete posts here in the island of Utila off the coast of Honduras. I've lived here 15 years & never experienced anything like this. Be prepared for possible aftershocks! Kevin

Anonymous said...

Hi Karine & Tom,

Glad to know you are fine. Have you heard about any damages or injuries in the region from the quake? Are cell phones working? And other services.

Petra Challus
Quake Central Forecasting
http://www.quakecentralforecasting.com

Anonymous said...

Wow--I was channel surfing early this morning while still kind of sleeping when I saw the little circles around Roatan. Unfortunately, it was the Spanish channel so I had no idea what they were saying, but it looked like they were showing an earthquake! Thank you so much for posting on your website so we can know you are okay. How scary! Keep us posted! Joani

Anonymous said...

PS--Will you have school today? Joani

alyssa lori said...

Can anyone please tell me if it hit Cayos Cochinos? I was just there a few days back and am very worried for all my island buddies I made while there. This is horrible :(

Kristin and Peter said...

I'm glad everyone is okay! Stay safe.

my name is Amanda said...

Oh my goodness! I'm happy to read the family is all safe!

Coming from another Midwestern gal, I for one would be pretty darn surprised to find myself in the middle of an earthquake...

Karine and Tom said...

The tsunami watch has been cancelled- along with classes at local schools today! So far, nobody we've talked to seems to have sustained any serious damage here in the city of La Ceiba.

I believe cell phones are working around La Ceiba, however some internet and land lines are out right now.

We've felt a few small aftershocks, but nothing compared to last night.

mekahlo said...

Im Mekahlo Medina from NBC Los Angeles. I found your contact information as I was looking for folks affected by the earthquake. I was hoping we could interview you about the quake via phone or webcam? I'm hoping to talk to you between 12-5pm PT.

Please email me back at mekahlo.medina@nbcuni.com.

-Mekahlo

honuwomyn said...

Glad to hear you are all ok. I did chuckle when I read your prediction that the quake was M 9.5 If that were the case, you'd all be dead. For each increment in magnitude, ie. 7.1 to 7.2, the amount of energy released is about 30 times greater. USGS has revised the magnitude of your quake from 7.1 to 7.3, meaning a release of energy 60 times greater than previously thought. The movement point, or focus was about 6 miles deep...relatively very shallow which is why it felt so strong. The deeper the focus, the less you feel the earth move. Shallow quakes are often more destructive than deeper ones. Be glad the epicenter was bout 26 miles north of Roatan. If the epicenter was in La Ceiba, many lives would have been lost.