May 29, 2009

Major earthquake in Honduras

We've just had a major earthquake in Honduras, in the Caribbean coast. The official information says the magnitude was 7.1 on Ritcher's scale, and it was also mentioned that it even got up to 7.3 or so. Do you know what this means?. This was a major earthquake without a doubt.

However, only minor damages were reported all over the country, considering the magnitude of the earthquake, this was a miracle, there is no logical explanation for this.

There was a large bridge that collapsed, this is bridge La Democracia in El Progreso, about 30 km east of San Pedro Sula. A few buildings were also damaged, like the Court building in San Pedro Sula, it had a lot of damages.

There were also a few people who were reported dead, about 5 - 7 people. That's very sad. However, in a 7.1 earthquake this is much less than expected.

The epicenter was located about 130 km north of La Ceiba, into the Caribbean Sea. Another reference for the location is the world famous island of Roatan, only 60 km from the epicenter of this major earthquake.

No major damages in Roatan or the Bay Islands, how can you explain this?. Today in the morning TV news some experts in geophysics sciences were trying to explain how a 7.1 earthquake didn't cause major damages, but there were no conclusive or clear answers.

All over the world throughout the years and centuries ago, there have been earthquakes over 6 on Ritcher scale that have caused devastation and destruction. Entire cities have disappeared many times after earthquakes over 6 on Ritcher scale.

In Honduras is very unlikely to have earthquakes, even though Honduras is located in a very sismic region. In all Central america countries is very common to have this type of events.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, all of them have had major earthquakes in the past with very destructive consequences, even with earthquakes with magnitude less than 7 or 6 on Ritcher scale.

With a 7.1 earthquake the logical consequences would have been masive destruction in Honduras, where we don´t really have experience on these events, the construction is not designed in most cases to withstand earthquakes.

If the epicenter of this earthquake would have been a few miles to the south, closer to the Caribbean coast of Honduras, we can not imagine how destructive this would have been, it's scary just thinking about it.

This was a very close call, we have to be ready for the future. We can not think anymore that Honduras is free of earthquakes, this one was a proof that anything could happen.

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