Facebook was all lit up last night, as many of you across the globe were watching with bated breath as your friends in San Pedro (and other close by places) were posting about the earth-shaking us on our couches and rattling our houses at 8:53 pm.
The actual earthquake was near Great Swan Island off the northern coast of Honduras and there were 4 aftershocks (smaller quakes) that followed. Great Swan Island is approximately 280 miles (450 km) east of Belize so it is no surprise we felt it here.
Not long after things got very real when a tsunami warning was issued for the whole country and particularly the Cayes and the southern region. I have felt quakes here before but they have never come with such a strong fast aftermath. Love FM 98.1 was initially reporting that 3 – 5 feet of water was possible and that anyone in low lying areas needed to get to higher ground and preferably in a strong concrete building. The time got pushed back minorly to 10:52 and that felt like a good sign, but you just never know.
I went to take the garbage out fast and spoke to my neighbours a minute to see how they felt. My neighbour Argyle, owner of Hungry Grouper and his family were out so we chatted a few minutes while watching people moving around. The fire truck went by with sirens on to alert people. I told my upstairs neighbour if water comes he may see me on the veranda. Thankfully it didn’t and by 11:30 pm we had the all clear, from both Love FM and Reef TV, though I am sure many of us were too jacked up to sleep right away – I was for sure.
We really do need a stronger warning system. The fire truck only helps if you are in proximity and it would be beneficial to have a different sound so people know exactly what the range of emergency is.
As with any event like this, I believe it is important to use it as a learning experience. No matter where you live take a second and think; how prepared are you in the event that a natural disaster should hit and you had to leave your house?
I went from talking about feeling fun and light starting 2018 with my friend and trainer Sarah and dive shop for sale write up with Kendall to a holy crap moment and wondering what to do. How much do I pack up? Do I move locations or stick it out in my apartment?
I decided to stay put knowing I could get to higher ground easily should I need too – my building is 3 stories. I did take some precautions, moving my power bars off the floor and pulled my most important paperwork and my best electronics into my dray bag. That made me realize I could use a bigger one for emergency use.
Another good thing Argyle mentioned was to shut all my breakers off if water became a threat. That may sound like common sense but when your mind is going a million miles an hour thinking about possible impending doom you do not always think of the little things. Bottom line is making a personal disaster preparedness plan and having a list handy of simple steps to follow should you need to can be hugely beneficial saving you time and worry in an emergency situation.
Business as Usual
Everything appears normal with hot sunny weather and temperature range of 22° C or 71.6° F. During my workout, Sarah did say she could tell the energy was still a little weird around town after last night’s crazy experience. She also mentioned that while she did not know what it meant at the time, the past two days she noticed an erratic change in the water currents while playing with her dogs. As for business as usual, construction is full swing on the old Sunset Grill across from my building. Lots of sawing and hammering as they continue to add a second story. Not sure how safe that is. A few of us are convinced they never properly filled the underneath of the building but just got better at hiding that fact. That is a whole other story.
Featured image courtesy of Fox News.