Posted By: SimonB

Earthquake - 05/28/09 10:00 AM

There was an earthquake of 4.9 in the evening but the 7.1 at 2:30am really shook things up.

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 7.1
Date-Time Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 08:24:45 UTC
Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 03:24:45 AM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 16.783°N, 86.166°W
Depth 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 130 km (80 miles) NNE of La Ceiba, Honduras
225 km (140 miles) N of Juticalpa, Honduras
320 km (200 miles) NNE of TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras
1170 km (730 miles) SSW of Miami, Florida

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.3 km (3.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=119, Nph=119, Dmin=323.9 km, Rmss=0.88 sec, Gp=104°,
M-type=(unknown type), Version=6

Event ID us2009heak

This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: vondo

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 10:17 AM

0833 UTC THU MAY 28 2009








ORIGIN TIME - 0825Z 28 MAY 2009





-------------------------------- ------------ ------------
TRUJILLO 15.9N 86.0W 0856Z 28 MAY

Posted By: Monel

I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 10:20 AM

Shmoo slept thru it lol...whatta Shmoo
Posted By: SimonB

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 10:46 AM

Reef Radio will go on air in a few minutes with updates.
Posted By: els

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:03 AM

Hi I am Els and I'm from Belgium. My sister lives in Belize. I wanna know how the situation is right now. I have heard in Belgium that there was a earthquake and there will be a tsunami. Is this true?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:05 AM

"there was a earthquake and there will be a tsunami" Everything is fine right now, see the posts above for what we have on any Tsunami news.
Posted By: els

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:07 AM

Do you need to evacuate? Is there any damage in Belize? My sister owns Portofino resort and I can't contact her.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:10 AM

I suggest you log into Reef Radio or Love FM for news. There is nothing going on here right now, I'm 6 miles South of Portofino.
Posted By: els

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:13 AM

Thanks simon for the information.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 11:16 AM

According to NEMO on LoveFM the Tsunami warning has been lifted. They are saying to be cautious about bridges throughout the country. They also say there was some damage down in the South end of the country. They are sending teams to Monkey River.
Posted By: Marty

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 01:40 PM

got this at 5:30

good morning, i am a kid from punta gorda and this morning i experience of a life time. This morning i rush out of my bed and ran to my father room,the quake woke me up and it woke my little sister too and that felt bad.

anyways later

another friend:

Here in Succotz, it was VERY scaary, and I am some distance from Independence, Monkey River etc .... I fel it lasted quite long, and was a tad afraid to go back to sleep knowing that there are frequently aftershocks! I recall the 76 quake in Guatemala when the cars shook in the driveway ... and the Managua quake, as well. Wayy too close to home for comfort!

Posted By: Marty

Re: I feel the earth move...under my feet... - 05/28/09 01:44 PM

Power is back on in Independence.  Several neighbors confirmed Independence water tower down ..but I have no plans to drive around in the dark to check.  Will take a drive after sunrise and check on the folks at Monkey River.


Rudely awoken at about 2:3am by strong tremor. Roaring sound, whole
house shaking, felt like a freight train going past, dogs barking

Flashback to being awoken in the eighties by the killer earthquake
that hit Guatemala.

This one was 7.4 off the northeastern coast of Honduras.

Just logged on to update via twitter.

Tsunami watch issued for Belize, Honduras and Guatemala.

Some damage reported in southern Belize.


Woke us up too.  Was quite a shock.  We didn't hear any noise but took several minutes before we felt we could walk safely in the dark.  Power is out in Independence, where we are tonight.


I have never felt anything so strong for so long...well, once but the relationship didn't last too long. 
Figured somebody somewhere very near was hurting real bad.  That was some shaker.  The dishes were rattling and books were coming off the shelf.  Interestingly enough,
I have a Bible and a Koran on shelf and those two were left twisted halfway around and halfway off the shelf.  I'm all shook up!


Utility poles also reported down at Monkey River.

Tsunami watch called off so the swamp dwellers can go back to bed ;0)

Some reports on Twitter about deaths in Honduras.

Monkey River is off grid.  Their utility poles connect to a village generator.  LoveFM sez BEL out looking for cause of power outtage in Independence.   I hope the reports of Independence water tower collapse are greatly exagerated!  If it's down it could mean a lot of people will be without water for --who knows how long.


BEl reports power outage Independence/Hopkins and Blue Creek.

Warning issued for motorists to be on the watch for damage to highways
and bridges.
Posted By: Diver down

Earthquake - 05/28/09 01:44 PM

Just received news that a magnitude-7.1 quake struck at 3:24 a.m. 80 miles northeast of La Ceiba, Honduras. Toppled several buildings in Honduras and Belize. Does anyone have an update for CC and San Pedro regarding the effect of the recent seismic activities? Hope all is well.
Posted By: Caye Connect

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 01:50 PM

All is well here in San Pedro and Caye Caulker.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 01:53 PM

It was pretty mild here..bed started to vibrate which caught my attention...and then mild shaking for about 2 minutes..2;30 here..epicenter offshore Hondurus..Chiapas MX reporting a 4.7 at the same time......

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:05 PM

We didn't feel much, just a little bit of a shake on Ambergris Caye (2milesnorth)this morning. The Earthquake damage happened way south on Mainland Belize & Honduras and offshore by Roatan.

I hope no one got hurt.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:07 PM

The Chiapas quake was at 7:23pm in the Pacific.
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:10 PM

It was terrible here in Dangriga.

We were all terrified as things were dropping in the house.
Posted By: pamkillen

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:11 PM

I am in Belize City. We were shaken up and the warning sirens were on for a while to keep people alert pending a wave.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:13 PM
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:18 PM

from friends:

This was the biggest one to date that I have experienced in Belize -
the 1976 one was scary but this one had me saying a prayer. The house
shook like a leaf for about 40 seconds and items fell off shelves and
dressers- at times I was convinced that it was going down. All's well
that ends well - my prayers are with those who were directly affected
here and in the neighboring countries. The epicenter was only about
150 miles away from Belize City according to my calculations.

3:45am: Man, that was a big one. Hope everyone is ok.

Woke us up around 2:30am.  Power and water are out in Independence.  Radio reports of several houses down or damaged in Monkey River and Punta Gorda.
They say Independence water tower collapsed ..and for true, our water is off here.
Correction just came through that houses damaged in Monkey River, but nothing comfirned in Mango Creek. 


Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:20 PM


everything fell off our shelves!
at 0230 we were in for a ride!
even scared Scurvy! and he's fearless!!
Posted By: Grace

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:26 PM

does anyone know anything about Roatan?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:35 PM

"On Roatan, rescue officials said the quake had knocked out power and caused minor damage to buildings. People were outside their houses and being urged to keep away from the shore."
Posted By: elbert

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:42 PM

Wow slept right through didn't feel a thing.
No high water or unusual waves evidence on the beach. seems unaffected here on Ambergris.. well at least up here in the North.
got a humorous email from the neighborhood watch ,
Nemo says," to seek higher ground.' Ha higher ground , I wonder where they live? Getting in you boat would be more practical, or better yet put on you SCUBA equipment ;-).
People on the south end say it was shaking bad enough to get outside their houses for safety.
Posted By: Grace

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:50 PM

Thanks for the info on Roatan
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 02:51 PM

from Caye Caulker...

Man that was a big one.

I was too tired last night to post and decided to wait until this morning cause I figured that by then someone would already know something.

FYI - I just build an elevated concrete home in Caye Caulker. Moved in about 2 months ago. For weeks I've been feeling slight tremors when lying in my bed, and have been worried that perhaps it was not built strong enough if a 'lee breeze' or whatever it was was making it shake. I could possibly be imagining my bed shaking ever so slightly. Would it withstand a hurricane?

Then between 2:00 - 2:26AM there was no denying that the house was shaking - literally! Slight rattling in the doors. My sons and I all woke up with a start. Either there was a dinosaur walking in our neighbourhood, or there was an earthquake in nearby (I thought perhaps Guatemala).

Haven't left the house yet for the day, so it will be interesting to hear what other island folks have to say about it. Caye Caulker is up North. Placencia, Monkey River, Independence is down South. And Honduras further than South from us than Guatemala. That we could feel and watch it shake us like!
Posted By: bink

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 03:33 PM

Any news about Placencia? We were planning a visit there in a few weeks. Thanks.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 03:34 PM

It'll be interesting what the geologists say. Given that we are on a major fault line this quake could make a more serious one more likely, not less. We need to stay aware.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 03:53 PM

As Elbert has pointed out - if we do have a bigger tremor and a tsunami threat - there is NO higher ground to retreat to.

This tremor was certainly the most I have experienced and it certainly gives us an idea of what it must be like around the epicenter.
Posted By: Gela

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 03:58 PM

Ah, I remember the feeling well. Here in California we have earthquakes every year or so. Our "Big One" in Northern California was in October 1989 - about the same magnatude. It was frightening, to say the least. Property loss, lives lost, and some damage is still being worked on.

I hope you all can put it behind you quickly. Keep your emergency pack up-to-date (you do this for hurricanes anyway). It's good news that the Tsunami watch has been lifted.

This might be a story you tell for years to come to friends (it obviously is for me).
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:02 PM

i would never hear about a tsunami watch,, with the power out.
i need to get a little radio i guess.
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:11 PM

Yes you would Barn, I'd have stopped by your house on my way out to the Southern Hywy. But spoke to a geologist in PG right afterwards who told me that was not a concern and then got a call at 3:30am from the US Embassy to let me know the US Geological Survey in Golden Colorado had called off any tsunami warning. One good reason its good to be registered with the Embassy. I'm sure all cars departing the peninsula would have been honking their horns to alert people. The reef would have protected Placencia from a major tsunami if it happened. We are all very lucky, whatever damages we have, can be repaired.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:12 PM

Higher ground could potentially mean go upstairs or get off the beach - people are trying to help.

Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:28 PM

plus,, i am the last living human on the planet that doesn't have a cell phone.
and when our power is out,, so is our phone.
Posted By: Merster

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:34 PM

I'm thinking about you all in beautiful Belize. I'm so glad this earthquake wasn't worse. Peace to you all.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 04:37 PM

Death toll rises to 2 confirmed and 2 possible.

Posted By: AJ Baxter

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 05:09 PM

Any reports of damage on Ambergris Caye?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 05:10 PM

Posted By: Phil

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 06:17 PM

I had some damage. Irreversible brain damage from drinking too many beers and those bloody awful Jagermeister things (the real culprit) after the Champions League Final. Slept right through the night and missed it, but I think the house could have dropped and I'd not have noticed. However I can report several personal aftershocks this morning with no signs of abatement.....

Hey Barn - Me too on the cell phone.......
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 06:42 PM

From Xaibe Village, near Corozal

Talked to a person in Corozal that could not sleep last night and was up at
the time quake hit. He felt both tremors --

And apparently - my neighbors big cement house now has a cracked foundation!!

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 06:52 PM

Originally Posted by aj-photoguy
Any reports of damage on Ambergris Caye?
Lost some water from our pool (Was forced out by the Quake) other than that, I have not heard much about any damage in San Pedro.
Posted By: GenaG

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 08:15 PM

Hi, I'm in new family is in the Mango Creek /Independence area any word on how people are coping there?
Posted By: captjeff

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 08:39 PM

Felt nothing as there is a honeymoon couple in ther next condo to me thought it was there night time i love you thing .. sorry people lost there life .and we lucked out no huge waves here ..
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 08:46 PM

i kinda felt like a dunce,, standing at the waters edge, shining my tiny maglite out to sea,,,,looking for the tsunami.
Posted By: Peter Jones

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 08:49 PM

What would you have done if you had seen it, Barn?
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 09:00 PM

well,, the kayaks were right there,,,
Posted By: papashine

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 09:13 PM

A surf board would be better grin
Posted By: ckocian

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 09:28 PM

USGS earthquake site:
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 11:32 PM

the birds are still gone in our area - got any down placencia way?
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/28/09 11:45 PM

yea,, they were all here early,, right on schedule.
Posted By: GenaG

Re: Earthquake - 05/29/09 12:23 AM

Hi, I'm in new family is in the Mango Creek /Independence area any word on how people are doing there?
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 05/29/09 02:23 AM

only thing i heard is they are most likely out of water,,,
Posted By: MisterB266

Re: Earthquake - 05/29/09 02:45 AM


The first half hour or so of tonight's Channel 7 broadcast was video from southern Belize. Check the website later tonight after it has been updated.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/29/09 01:36 PM

News summations from Channel 5...

Earthquake measuring 7.1 on Richter scale shakes Belize

Two major events dominate the news tonight: a strong earthquake that jolted from the southern to the central region of the country and the state visit of the President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou. But first, the last time Belizeans experienced any tectonic shifts significant enough to register in memory was on Sunday, August 23rd, 1998. On that day a tremor measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale rocked homes in Belize, even though the epicenter was off the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. But at 2:24 this morning, Belizeans were awakened to a much stronger quake – whose epicenter was located 60 miles northwest of La Ceiba, Honduras. Fortunately, the 7.1 tectonic shift did not cause any deaths locally, but it certainly left many people all shook up. At the break of dawn, Marion Ali flew by chopper south to Monkey River Village, the area which reported the most damage.

Marion Ali, Reporting
From the sky the tiny fishing village of Monkey River in the Toledo District appears normal, but a closer look from ground level quickly reveals the first signs of a phenomenon. Where green grass once stood now sits layers of thick wet mud. Because many of the homes are wooden, infrastructure suffered the most damage. Some of the dwellings were tilted to one side after the soft earth beneath them gave way, while other structures simply could not bear the seismic test of the 7.1 quake and crashed violently to the ground. And while houses were crashing to the ground, water from beneath the earth was instead forcing its way upwards.

While the villagers experienced infrastructural damage, everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that no life was lost as a result of the quake. Reporting for News Five, Marion Ali.

The most urgent need in the village is running water since water supply was interrupted by the earthquake.
The Damage in Placencia

There was considerable damage to the infrastructure on the Placencia Peninsula. The quake created what have been described, and what these pictures show, as major cracks on the village’s main street.

The damage is mainly to the area in front of the Belize Bank and more importantly the road leading to the village’s main dock. There was also some damage to the Belize Bank building.

There is also what pretty major damage to the Placencia Fishermen Cooperative’s building and its dock. That is worrying because the lobster season opens on June 15th. The seashore dive shop next door has also been damage and so has the dock for the Shell gas station.

Placencia residents assess damages after tremor

In our continued coverage of the tremor, News Five Jose Sanchez, travelled to the peninsula where he found the community on edge.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
In southern Belize on the Placencia peninsula, residents were shaken out of their beds early this morning by the tremors of the earthquake.

The Village Chairman, Brian Yearwood, liaised with the Police and made checks around the peninsula.

Brian Yearwood, Chairman, Placencia Village
“When we got to the point, we noticed that one of the piers were down and one of the piers were badly damaged with the fuel pumps at the end of the pier. That was broken up and maybe another 15minutes west of that was another pier, a dive shop which was actually the floor that was sitting in the water. It had dropped maybe a couple of feet. Then we patrolled and naturally the current went out and we led with our flashlights and checked all the buildings and the people and as we proceeded around we noticed that there were cracks in cement mainly at the point. We noticed that there were cracks in the street from about 6 to 8 inches.”

Classes were called off at St. John’s Anglican Memorial School. Staff and faculty were assessing the cracks and separations of the steps and verandas of the school building. But the reason for the school closure was that there was no potable water in Placencia.

Brian Yearwood
“I also met with the Principal early this morning and they told me that there was no need for the kids to go to school because they didn’t have any water to drink and I didn’t think it was safe for them to go to school. The water tower was badly damaged. We heard that the one in Mango Creek had collapsed. So we rushed out to see ours and we saw right away from the spotlight, we could tell it was damaged. Right now it looks a little shaky. I can't really tell right now but an engineer—we have to get an engineer in quickly and assess the damage and see if that’s gonna have to be reinforced because as you can see it’s cracked at the bottom and at the top of each of the four legs. We don’t know it will come down or not right now. So we’re just hoping that it remains as it is. What we did was we emptied all the water out the reservoir at the top so we just have water at the bottom. So that released the weight from the top.”

There were other parts of the village that were affected. The floor and tiles of the Placencia Producers Fishermen Cooperative were ripped apart like a rag doll. And on a nearby pier, Brian Young, the owner of Sea Horse Dive Shop, found his business sinking in the sea.

Brian Young, Placencia Resident
“Fortunately, I was in Belize City this morning so I felt the tremor in Belize City as well. Immediately my son called me and told me damage and I head down to Placencia and was here about 6:00 this morning.”

Jose Sanchez
“What kind of damages you had?”

Brian Young
“Well, unfortunately, if you can look at the dive shop, it totally submerged from where it was. I think it dropped about 4 feet and all the posts just went right down like some other building on the mainland. It just went right down and we were unfortunately, one of the people that suffered that consequence.”

J Bird’s special drink of the day was the “Fault Line,” a homage to the cracked floors and gaping space between the bar’s walls.

The concrete floor of VJ Vegetable Shop appear to have been pried apart from dark depths. And next door, workers from V and V Supermarket were restocking the shelves with goods that fell on the floor.

Residents continue to clean and repair the damages. The tremors took the peace of the night, but did not rob any resident of life. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

The Village Chairman believes they will have running water soon.

Independence village water tower crashes to the ground

From Placencia, the News Five crew headed to Independence. And like other parts of the country impacted by the early morning tremor, the residents were still in shock.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
Independence Village rests on higher ground than Placencia and also experienced less damage. But Independence residents shared the same trauma of all earthquake victims.

There were also no loss of life in Independence, but the water supply in the village was cut.

According to the Village Chairman, there is no water because during the earthquake, the water tower had swayed and toppled with a towering boom.

George Murray, Chairman, Independence Village
“The first thing I did, I heard when the tank fell because it sound like a boom. Immediately I told my wife, that’s the water tank and I came out here with my flashlight, me and my grandson. We came and saw the tank down, lights were out, not much you could see and not much you could do. Immediately I picked up the phone and call the Manager of the Water Board, Mrs. Mirna, and she said that she is already assessing the situation and she was going out to the main pump site to cut off the water so the water wouldn’t be throwing away. At daybreak I got in my vehicle and I went street to street over the village and fortunately the only damage was the water tank.”

Jose Sanchez
“No one was hurt.”

George Murray
“No, no, no, not as far as I know. No one was hurt and we can happily tell the villagers that we will still have water even if we don’t have any tank. We are working on setting the main direct from the pump.”

Dwight Neal, Chairman, Water Board
“We have crew working, we are trying to reconnect the main line. From all investigations and observations, that’s the only break that we have apart from the tank falling of course. Now, the system is set up in such a way that we can pump directly into the distribution system. Once we’re reconnected the main line, which was broken when the tank fell, we can start pumping back into the system. What we can say to people is that we are going to work on this all day until we get it going again, even if it is until this evening because water is everybody’s business.”

Sink hole forms on San Pedro during tremors

The effects of the earthquake was also felt on the islands. The news coming from Ambergris Caye is not about a building collapsing, but of the formation of a natural phenomenon.
The San Pedro Sun newspaper reports that on the north end of Ambergris Caye, a sinkhole appeared this morning. The 30 wide sinkhole was formed near the Ak'bol Yoga Retreat. It was discovered around 7:00 a.m. by the gardener of the resort. The formation is believed to have been caused by the tremors of the earthquake.

Earthquake claims at least 4 lives in Honduras

And in Honduras, the earthquake had the worst effect. It is confirmed so far that at least 4 persons were killed and among the damage to infrastructure, is a $10 million dollar bridge that collapsed. The Honduran Ambassador, Manuel Sandoval, describes the situation in the aftermath of this morning’s tremor.

Manuel Sandoval, Honduran Ambassador to Belize
“I believe that Central America, primarily Honduras, is the area most affected by this earthquake. According to reports from COPECO, which is the institution that deals with disasters and contingencies, there are 4 deaths; a 3-year-old, two 9-year-olds and a 15-year-old. They were from various parts of Honduras and they died as a result of structures falling on them. The largest structural damage was from a bridge called La Democracia. It’s a bridge that was donated by the Government of Japan at an approximate cost of $10 million. A portion of the bridge collapsed and presumably a car was passing at the same time, causing it to fall into the river. Two public buildings suffered damages as well. The roof of one of them fell off. There are about 50 houses throughout the country that were damaged or destroyed. Other bridges have cracks on them and the coastal city of La Ceiba also suffered physical damages."

The Ambassador also said that there is no red flag yet in respect of relief assistance since most of the damages were sustained to government property.

This story from Channel 7

Quake Damaged BEL' s Independence Substation

And, one more note on the earthquake, BEL today stated that only its Independence Substation was damaged which caused an hour and half long outage. According to BEL, the outage that occurred in Belmopan just after 8:00 this morning was not as a result of any aftershocks, but the blackout was due to maintenance work being conducted.

BECOL further states that following an inspection of the Challilo and Mollejon Hydroelectric facilities the reservoir levels remain normal at both facilities.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/29/09 03:27 PM

NEMO confirms earthquakes in St Lucia and Dominica

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- On May 27, 2009 at 5.00 pm an earthquake occurred east of St Lucia. The event was located at 14.00 degrees North and 60.86 degrees West. It measured 3.4 on the Richter scale at a depth of 48 kilometers. A few residents in the Ravine Toutrelle/ Marchand area, White Rock and Monier reportedly felt the tremor. There were no damages reported.

It was also reported that at 12.28 pm on May 28, 2009 an earthquake also occurred southeast of Dominica. The event was located at 15.04 degrees North and 60.48 degrees West. The magnitude was 4.0 and depth was 48 kilometers. No damages were reported either. Two residents of Ravine Toutrelle/Marchand and a resident of Morne Fortune told Caribbean Net News that they felt Thursday's earthquake. This reporter felt both earthquakes.

The National Emergency Management Organization has reminded the public of what should be done in the event of an earthquake:

1. Remain calm.
2. If one is still feeling shaking stay where you are until the shaking stops.
3. Once the shaking stops you can move around and take care of any injured persons.
4. Move away from the coastline, and get away from the sea.
5. Be careful in case the earthquake shook anything loose.
6. Remember to have an engineer to check your building to make sure it is safe.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/30/09 02:16 PM

More Tremors Shake Belize

Did you feel a tremor around 8:45 last night? Or maybe those in the south felt one at 6:45 this morning. If you felt either of them, it wasn’t your imagination, nor was it post-traumatic stress; those were real, both aftershocks of Thursday morning’s powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter of the major quake was about 140 miles east of the Stann Creek Coast and caused major structural damage in the villages of Monkey River, Independence and Placencia. As we showed you last night, that structural damage was quite remarkable in Monkey River where many wooden houses on stilts simply sunk into the ground – some sunk as much as eight to ten feet. As we told you last night, that’s called earthquake liquefaction and today geologist Andre Cho explained what causes the strange phenomenon.

Andre Cho, Geologist
“What happens in an earthquake whenever the seismic waves pass through sediment, loose sediments, it is a natural phenomenon for the sediment to become like a liquid just for a short period of time, just a couple seconds, and that is what is known as liquefaction and that is what causes buildings to sink like what happened in Monkey River. It is on coastal alluvium or sediments which is unconsolidated. So places like Monkey River and Belize City as well, because it is on the coast and it lies on top of unconsolidated sediments or coastal sediments, those places are very vulnerable to liquefaction.”

Jules Vasquez,
We’ve also seen a number of very pronounced fissures on the surface of the ground. What is that as a result of?

Andre Cho,
“Again that is simply a result of the seismic activity, the seismic waves produced from the earthquake and it is just causes breaks on the surface of the ground. So it is shallow, just a couple inches sometimes, but again that is just a common result of an earthquake. It doesn’t pose any risks to building any houses or any other large structures.”

As for the water that gushed out of the ground all over the village, Cho explained that it is the water from within the soil itself which it is forced to the surface. A remarkable and previously unseen phenomenon, but the earthquake’s epicenter was about 150 miles from the coast of Monkey River so that is to be expected.

Channel 7 News
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/30/09 02:18 PM

NEMO press release no 1


Belize Situation: Most affected area – Southern Belize, specifically Monkey River, Independence and Placencia Villages in the Stann Creek District.


- 5 houses destroyed

- 20 or so other houses that were 6 feet support columns sunk to approximately 3 feet.

- Damages reported to water lines of the village's rudimentary water system. Village temporarily out of water.

- NEMO has dispatched 15 hundred gallons of water to Monkey River. 5 hundred 5 gallon containers arrived this morning while 1 thousand 1 gallon containers arrived later in the morning.


- Water reservoir in the village was destroyed. Damages also reported on a number of houses there.


- Water reservoir damaged.

- Remaining water inside the reservoir was ordered to be drained out.

Preliminary report indicates that houses were also damaged in Placencia. The village has a backup supply of water.

- In general, engineers identifying breaks in water lines and working on them to have full water supply back to normal hopefully by day's end.


- Officials at BECOL are reporting NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGES to the dam in the Cayo District as several concerns were raised by residents in that area.

NEMO's immediate response in any emergency is getting into affected areas with assistance to affected residents. Since early morning NEMO's District Emergency Centers and Coordinators have been activated and have committee members and volunteers on the ground conducting assessments.

Preliminary reports from NEMO's Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis Committee indicates that the school building in Seine Bight Village, Stann

Creek sustained damages

Teachers in Southern Belize are urged to check on conditions of their classrooms.

Motorists using the hummingbird and southern highways are asked to exercise caution on the road and when crossing bridges.

Minor oil spill reported at Belize Natural Energy BNE compound in Big Creek but was quickly contained. NEMO was informed that about 5 gallons or so of crude oil spilled from one of the company's storage tanks.

No damage reported in the agricultural sector
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/30/09 02:33 PM

Earthquakes: A Way of Life for Belize

And the reason those coastal communities got hardest hit is because they are directly in line with what’s called the Motagua fault, the boundary of the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates. IT may sound technical, but you need to know because that plate boundary cuts right between Honduras and Belize and it’s friction along that fault that caused Thursday’s quake. Cho explained.

Andre Cho, Geologist
“Belize lies on the North American Tectonic Plate, Central America and the Caribbean Plate and there is a transformed plate boundary down there that is sliding, the two plates are sliding cross each other and so it cause faults in the rocks and as the rocks are sliding each other, friction holds them together and so energy is being built up in there and when the energy overcomes the friction it breaks the rocks and causes the energy to be released in the form of an earthquake. So once that energy has been released the major earthquake has passed and then like I said you will normally experience some tremors for some time after. Another earthquake won’t occur again until that same scenario where it is built up again and then violently released.”

Jules Vasquez,
Are earthquakes a reality that we will now have to live with?

Andre Cho,
“Yes it has always been so. We just haven’t experienced one like this because like I said we are right near to a plate boundary, the transplant plate boundary between the North American and Caribbean plate. Historically we just haven’t experienced large earthquakes like this one or larger but we have always been in a earthquake prone zone and so an earthquake is a real hazard that we live with and we need to be prepared for. Because we are near to this transplant plant boundary, and like I said earthquakes are a reality that we have always lived with.

It is just like I said historically we haven’t experienced any major earthquakes or any damages from earthquakes. But like I said, this recent earthquake is a wake up call for us. We need to know and realize and understand that we do live near a plate boundary and we need to be aware of earthquakes and be prepared for them.”

While stressing that he is not a seismologist that studies earthquakes – indeed, there’s no one with that specialty in Belize – and a geologist is the next best thing. The last time Belizeans recall feeling such a powerful quake was in 1976 when that same fault line, called the Motagua fault caused a 7.5 magnitude quake. It struck inside Guatemala near Puerto Barrios. It struck at 3:00 in the morning and killed over twenty thousand. So far in this quake, Honduras is reporting six dead, and Belize one elderly woman from Dangriga who expired in the fright.

In Monkey River NEMO reports that 31 structures were damaged, with 8 houses badly damaged and another two extensively damaged. The footing for the water tower was also damaged. In Independence, the water supply has been restored and Seine Byte reports minimal damage to the school building. Columns for the water tower in that village are also a concern. The full report on Placencia hasn’t been sent out yet but the water reservoir was damaged and a number of homes were affected. Again, NEMO has not completed its report on that village.

Channel 7 News
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 05/30/09 03:25 PM

Letter to the Editor:

To whom it may concern,

This commentary is directed at those in charge of Coral Cable Vision. With regard to what occurred with the earthquake early Thursday morning, nobody here in San Pedro knew that it was that but when we found out, all Central Americans worried since the majority of them know that our countries have gone through this before, especially El Salvador. Everyone is worried about relatives that we have in our countries. In Belize, we know that it is difficult to be informed about what happens in our countries, that we need to call or go to a computer with internet in order to be sure that no tragedy has occurred with our compatriots. For this lack of information of ours, there is already a solution. DirecTV provides channel 429 called Telecentro. This channel has news from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Furthermore, the channel also has other programming from those countries, putting this channel on the list of 86 channels that they already have would be a good type of marketing for Coral Cable Vision. The majority of San Pedroans are or have relatives in these counties. For more information, see For me and the rest of the Central Americans on the island, it would be a good option to enjoy our television set from now on with this channel. Thank you for your time. I hope this will have a positive result. Thank you.

Actually received in Spanish, here's the original in case its more fluent

A quien interese, Este comentario esta dirigido a los encargados de Coral Cable Vision. En relacion a lo ocurrido con el terremoto el jueves en la madrugada, nadie aca en San Pedro sabia que fuese eso pero cuando nos enteramos todos los centroamericanos preocupados ya que la mayoria sabe que nuestros paises ya han pasado por esto, especialmente El Salvador. Todos preocupados por los familiares que tenemos en nuestros paises. En Belice sabemos que es dificil estar enterados de lo que sucede en nuestros paises sino es que tenemos que llamar o ir a un computador con internet para estar seguro que no haya ocurrido una tragedia con nuestros compatriotas. Para esta falta de informacion de nosotros ya hay una solucion. DirecTV proporciona el cacal 429 llamado Telecentro. Este canal tiene noticieros de Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica. Ademas el canal tiene otra programacion de estos paises. Colocando este canal en la lista de 86 canales que ya tienen seria un buen tipo de mercadeo para Coral Cable Vision. La mayor parte de San Pedranos son o tienen familiares en estos paises. Para mas informacion ver Tambien ver articulo: Para mi y demas centroamericanos en la isla seria una buena opcion de disfrutar nuestro televisor de ahora en adelante con este canal. Por su tiempo gracias, espero que esto tenga un resultado positivo. Gracias.
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 03:00 PM

Felt a little shake last night at about 10:40pm

Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 03:24 PM

That would be this one (4.7):

There was a 4.4 this morning as well and a 5 this past Tuesday.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 04:01 PM

Since the earthquake last week I have been having earthquake and tsunami dreams - very reminiscent of the hurricane dreams I get each year! Yikes. No rest for the wicked I suppose.

Folks down south will certainly feel more than we do up here - and I can't imagine the concern that must pass through ones mind when they feel a tremor considering the damage that has occurred and the lives that have been severely impacted.

Live every day to its fullest.
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 04:11 PM

It is very scary indeed.

Posted By: Inplub

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 04:58 PM

How is your house?
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 05:03 PM

Well, it's OK so far.

From the quake last week, some of my little bottles fell off the shelf and broke frown
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 05:08 PM

There 850 earthquakes around the world in the last 7 days and 18 were in the Caribbean.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 05:09 PM

Just to make you feel better ;-)
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 06:54 PM


Unfortunately, it doesn't make me feel better.

Posted By: elbert

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 07:06 PM

Yea I'm not going to quit sleeping with my SCUBA tank on either.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 07:13 PM

now that's an image I'd like to see on the photo forum!
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 08:06 PM

Posted By: natalie p

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 08:34 PM

How many earthquakes per week is average, Simon? Would 850 be very excessive?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 09:34 PM

I had a look the week of the 7.1 and there were 1000 that week.

"It is estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. 100,000 of those can be felt, and 100 of them cause damage." USGS
Posted By: natalie p

Re: Earthquake - 06/06/09 09:55 PM

So the average is about 9,615 per week? Thanks for that info,Simon.
Posted By: belizegial

Re: Earthquake - 06/08/09 12:33 PM

Was there really a shake last night at about 11:15?

Posted By: ckocian

Re: Earthquake - 06/08/09 12:43 PM

From a message board out of Honduras, around La Ceiba, Puerto Cortes and Roatan, yes, there was quite a shake at that time. I think it's on the USGS website regarding the scale of the quake.

Posted By: SimonB

Re: Earthquake - 06/08/09 02:14 PM

This link gives you access to all measured earthquakes:
Posted By: Marty

Re: Earthquake - 06/09/09 02:28 AM

More Tremors Felt Over The Weekend

A week and a half after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck offshore Honduras and rattled nerves in Belize, another quake, this one significantly less intense, shook the same offshore area late on Sunday night.

According to reports from the United States Geological Survey, last night's quake which measured 5.7 on the Richter scale was at a depth of about 6.2 miles under the Caribbean Sea.

The epicenter was located 20 miles north west of La Cieba Honduras, or 8 miles east north east of San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

There have been no reports of damage as a result of last night's quake.

The June fourth earthquake damaged over two dozen homes and other infrastructure, primarily in the south of the country, in Placencia, Monkey River and Independence villages.

Magnitude 5.7 ˆ Offshore Honduras <>

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Earthquake - 06/09/09 01:40 PM

Take a little time to understand the Richter scale (which is a strange thing indeed) - it might help everybody relax.
A 5.something is about 200 times weaker than a 7.something.
The 7.1 was a biggie but the the others (4's and 5's) we've had are nothing to fret over - most likely aftershocks from the 7.1.

Posted By: Barnacle

Re: Earthquake - 06/09/09 02:30 PM

we have felt some wiggles every day since the 7.3
feels really weird!
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