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Honduran Earth Quake while on Roatan
GB - 5/31/2009 11:26 AM
Category: Travel
Replies: 2

We were staying at Anthony’s Key Resort when the Honduras Earthquake hit on the morning of May 28.

It shook the rooms pretty violently for about 7 or 8 seconds, which seemed like an eternity after being awoken by it at 2:30 in the morning and not know what was happening! I can’t believe the amount of power it took to shake the room as badly as it did!

My initial thought when I was woken up, was a water spout had come to shore and hit the room. When the shacking stopped, and we looked outside to see everything still sitting on the deck, the realization of an earthquake set in.

We then became concerned about a potential tsunami as we had no idea where the epicenter was, or what kind of movement there was on the fault (horizontal or vertical) so we quickly scrabbled to the main lodge up the hill about 50 feet or so. There were about a dozen or so other guests from the Key there as well. As it turns out, there was a wave of about 1 ½ feet that was recorded at West End . At AKR, they did see the water drop and then rise about the same amount at the docks.

One of the docks at the Dolphin enclosure collapsed the next day. Luckily no one was on it. A few dive masters and local residents lost a few breakables that fell off shelves and stands. At least three dive masters said their TV’s had fallen off their stands and broke. Beyond that, we didn’t hear of any other damage on the island. I’m sure there was other damage. We did hear the mainland had some damage and deaths. Sad to hear.

It was pretty interesting hearing and feeling the aftershocks underwater for the next two days. They were a loud, low frequency growl that you could feel in your chest better than you could hear them… a little eerie! We heard/felt about 6 of them, 4 on Thursday and 2 on Friday.

We were going to go to Mary’s Place on the south side on Friday a second time as a special group trip, but we heard it was really silted out from the earthquake. We were told the swim through’s had very poor visibility from sediment being shook off the walls. We also heard a lot of barrel sponges had been broken off as well. We did dive the west end on Friday morning, and did find a few large barrel sponges broke off, pretty sad to see.

Outside of that, we really didn’t see any other damage. It’s hard to believe the mainland suffered much more damage and deaths compared to what AKR and the island had, given the epicenter was 29 miles NNE of Roatan, and 80 miles NNE of the mainland. I wonder what made the difference in damage.

Anyway, AKR was as wonderful as usual. The pool and snack bar on the Key is awesome!!! Happy hour (2 for 1) on Saturday and Sundays from 5 to 6! Great place to hang out between the afternoon dive and dinner to chat with newly made friends! The meals were incredible! Their sea bass dishes are among the best I’ve ever tasted! The soups were always a must have too!

It was a great trip! No rain, a little shade in the afternoons with scatter clouds moving by. You couldn’t ask for better weather or calmer seas! The diving was as spectacular as I remember it from 5 years ago, although some sites seemed to have a decrease in sea life, while others flourished. The visibility varied a little between the shallows and depths. Shallows were 60 - 70 feet while the deeper dives (100’) the vis was 100+ on some. Spooky Channel was probably the worst vis at 40 feet.

All in all, very much a place worth returning to!
LatitudeAdjustment - 5/31/2009 11:40 AM

Glad to hear you are okay. Saw on another board, (D2D) that there was damage to CoCo’s Wall which is also Fantasea Islands wall, a crack in Prince Albert and that the sponges where shaken off the reef.

Considering how some of those homes in town are built I’m surprised there isn’t more damage.
Apocalypso - 6/01/2009 6:57 AM
the divers at CCV were reporting some coral damage large chunks van size were broken off they said it was strange seeing the large white areas on the wall....a lot of barrel sponges broken off at the base...some new cracks at Mary’s place and Calvins Crack....I will be there in 26 days to see for myself....I guess it will be virgin diving :-)