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Thursday, April 1, 2010
Most information is produced by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) and is extremely interesting to read. However, as pointed out by my fellow blogger, La Gringa, just after the standoff with ex-President Mel Zelaya in Honduras, for some unknown reason the USGS stopped reporting earthquake activity in the area of Central America and you can read her comments here:
But, as usual, I wander off the subject: earthquakes on Guanaja. On the island we, fortunately, have mild tremors. I strongly believe these are beneficial in that with the release of small amounts of energy, Nature is heading off major build ups with catastrophic results such as the one in this photo:
Scenes such as the previous will not be seen on Guanaja since we don't have any high-rise buildings!
Thankfully, these small tremors, which I have noticed occur more in the winter/spring months on the island, simply vibrate the ground and/or shake buildings for less than 1 or 2 seconds.
In May, 2009, a 7.3 Earthquake did hit the coast of Honduras with the epicenter reported in Utila:
At the time, I was returning from my trip to Germany, so missed the action. My husband reported that he felt the shock waves and that they were, indeed, the largest he had experienced since coming here. There were no outward damages to our house or surrounding area so we have much to be thankful for.
But, as I said, Mother Nature seems to offer this island some protection by sending off small tremors every now and then. Like yesterday. I was standing in the kitchen at 3 p.m. cleaning carrots and I heard the familiar rumble that I have learned is the forerunner of a tremor. It is like a far-off rumble of thunder but a little stronger. It builds up to a bigger noise which you know then is not caused by thunderheads in the distance and you start even "hearing" the vibration before you actually do! With stronger ones you then realize that this is going to be one of those and the house is suddenly given a violent jolt. The "jolt" last no more than 1-2 seconds but it is intense and there is no doubt as to what has happened!
The second day of our arrival to Guanaja in 1997, we were in bed asleep and I was awoken by a violent shaking of our bed. I had no idea that earthquakes were part of the seismic pattern here. I knew that the island experienced hurricanes, "Northers", particular weather patterns allowing for a deluge of rain in a short period of time, but I did not realize it underwent one of Mother Nature's strongest forces! That first "quake" was an eye-opener for me but what could I do? Nothing! As in all forces of Nature, one must wait, experience and then react. Man wants to believe he can control most everything, but Mother Nature is not one of them!
Thankfully we have never had an earthquake that wrecked havoc with our buildings or land for that matter. Going through the "Earthquake of the Century" (Mitch) in 1998 for 3 days was enough thank you, so these little tremors are just something of interest and wonder at the forces of Nature in action.