7.1 Earthquake Shakes Roatan

In case you haven’t heard, a massive 7.1 earthquake rattled Honduras Thursday morning, destroying properties across the mainland and causing at least six fatalities. The epicenter of the quake was directly beneath my beloved island of Roatan.

You can read more about the massive quake here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090528/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_honduras_earthquake

I would love to breathlessly recount the terror of being awoken at 2:30 in the morning by the cacophony of howling dogs and buckling earth, but unfortunately for my readers (but fortunately for me) I am in the States at this time attending my little sister’s wedding. I have no stories to share. Thankfully, word is that no one in West End was seriously hurt and properties damages were minimal. Business and life continues as usual in our sleepy little diving town.

Earthquakes are not unusual for the island; I’ve experienced a handful of minor shakes over the last four-plus years, but nothing even remotely the magnitude of a 7.1. Given that Roatan sits atop the Bonacca Ridge, a deep sea mountain range created by the collision of the Caribbean and Central America tectonic plates, it’s not surprising that the earth gives the occasional rumble.

Please keep the Honduran families on the mainland in your thoughts and prayers. These people, already living in impoverished conditions, have very few means with which to rebuild their shanty homes. As much as people in the US love to bitch and moan about FEMA’s inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina, they have no idea what it’s like to live in a country where the government has almost no means to provide care to its citizens when disaster strikes— and certainly no idea what it is like to endure a disaster when the rest of the world hardly takes notice.

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