The cost of living in paradise or in somewhere we perceive as being exotic was quickly brought home to us this morning. At a few minutes before 2.30am an earthquake struck off the coast of Honduras, early reports stated that it measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and lasted for about 30 seconds, quickly followed by two shorter tremors.
On our first being woken by the loud noises from outside, my first reaction was this was a particularly violent tropical storm. In the few seconds it took for my brain to fully comprehend exactly what was happening around us and to register that the room was in fact being shaken violently. My next thought was that Belize is not in an earthquake zone, they don’t get them here. Well technically it wasn’t in Belize, being classed as off the coast of Honduras makes it outside of the country, so Belize is still free of earthquakes. I know different.
As my wife and I lay there this morning in the dark, for what seemed like a very frightening 2-3 minutes and not the 30 seconds as reported, the room eventually came to rest once again and we could begin to breath normally. Nearby dogs tend to bark somewhat incessantly, for once they were quiet after the quake had subsided, it took them perhaps a full five minutes after the tremor was over before they resumed their barking. Once the first one started all the others joined in as well.
We checked around the building and nearby areas but could see no obvious damage; these buildings are a lot tougher than they look. We were surprised that the electricity was still working, and the air-con had hardly missed a beat. We returned to bed and had a long night ahead of us trying to fall asleep once again. Between the barking dogs we could hear sirens, it was not until daylight and a few hours had passed that this was a possible tsunami warning, a strong possibility as the quake had been an undersea one. With no transport at our disposal, and the only road out going alongside the shore for a few miles before turning inland the possibility of finding high ground in time would have been a remote one.
It is now 9 hours after the quake, and first reports stated just one death in Honduras, now that has risen to four. It was felt as far away as Mexico and El Salvador, with some minor damage in Belize. Here in Punta Gorda no injuries have been reported with only slight damage.
This is my wife and I’s second major earthquake in a little over a year. On May 12 2008 we were teaching English in a school in China’s Sichuan province when a large quake struck there during the early afternoon. The time was 2.28pm, this one today struck at May 28 2009, struck at 2.24am. Today’s was more frightening due to its occurring at night and we were within the confines of a much smaller room.
I have previously written an in depth account of my thoughts during the Sichuan earthquake, it was in fact my first article on AC, entitled ‘my experiences during the Sichuan earthquake’ you can read it by going to my source page and scrolling all the way down.
I hope not to have to write any more personal earthquake experience stories, I prefer my day to start at a more civilized hour and more quietly with a cup of coffee or two.
Source:- personal experience.