April 10, 2013

5.5 Earthquake in Honduras

Honduras earthquake 04-10-13
5.5 Honduras earthquake, 1:14 pm, April 10, 2013
Image courtesy USGS

Oooooh! We just felt an earthquake in La Ceiba. It lasted several seconds and based on my memory of 2009 when we had so many, I'd guess that it was at least a 5.5. The stuff on top of my desk was rattling like crazy. At first I just sat there experiencing it, but when it didn't pass after a few seconds, I decided it was time to get out of the house. I saw Arexy paused like a statute on the terraza steps. Before I could get outside, it stopped.


I wrote that and then I had to go chat with everyone around me. El Jefe was driving on the highway and did not feel it. Our Honduras Living group was getting messages from expats in La Ceiba, San Pedro, Roatán, Tegucigalpa, La Lima (Cortés), Danlí (El Paraíso) who all felt it. Two people who were in Trujillo and the island of Guanaja did not feel it.

Not to brag – well, maybe a little! – I guesstimated 5.5 right after it happened. The USGS is now showing it as a 5.5 on the Richter scale. I tracked all of those 2009 earthquakes and since I blogged about most of them, I guess my memory is working pretty well. I had never experienced an earthquake before moving to Honduras and they made a big impression on me, especially the 7.3 quake that had us running through the dark to get out of the house.

The USGS earthquake website gives the epicenter as 5 km. (3 miles) south of San Juan Pueblo and about 36 km (22 miles) southeast of Tela, Honduras. San Juan Pueblo is roughly halfway on the highway between La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula. We were checking the television, but not much was known at the time about damages. I just checked again, and Canal 3 is saying that there are no reports of damage so far. I guess Honduras was lucky again. We'll no doubt get more details on the 5pm news.

La Prensa is reporting that Tela lost power and telecommunications but that there was no damage reported.  Jocon, Yoro y Olanchito reported fissures in some buildings and homes. La Prensa also gives a whole page of earthquake safety tips.

The following map indicates the "Did you feel it?" reports received by the USGS. I always encourage people to report what they felt. You can do that with the DYFI online form. I think it helps the USGS refine their data.

The blue bubbles represent reports of feeling the quake.
Courtesy USGS Earthquake website
Click to enlarge


Question: Are there any earthquake experts out there who can explain why the depth is almost always given as 10 km? Just curious.

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