Honduras and Guatemala - Earthquake OCHA Geneva Situation Report No. 1
Honduras and Guatemala - Earthquake
OCHA - Geneva Situation Report No.1
11 July 1999
1. A powerful earthquake, measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale, rocked the Caribbean coast of Northern Honduras in the morning of Sunday 11 July at 8.14 h a.m. local time (14.14 h UTC).
2. According to the United States Geological Survey centre, the epicenter, around 10 km deep, was located not far from San Pedro Sula, at 15.7 N 88.3 W, not far from the border with Guatemala. The quake lasted 23 seconds.
3. News reports indicate that the shockwaves were felt as far away as the Gulf Coast of Mexico and that Belize and San Salvador were also rocked by the phenomenon, but seem to have experienced only minor damage.
4. OCHA immediately took contact with the UNDP Resident Representatives of Honduras and Guatemala. Contact was also established with the Swiss Disaster Relief Unit in Bern, Switzerland. OCHA Geneva was alerted by the UN Readiness (Radio Amateur) Group.
5. The UN Resident Representative confirmed from her office the magnitude and the epicenter of the earthquake. She indicated that, further to the establishment of a network of field offices following hurricane Mitch, UN field assesment capacities could be mobilized immediately and her Deputy, who was already in the area of San Pedro Sula, was leading the local assessment. The result of this mission is expected shortly.
6. Preliminary information indicates that serious damage has been experienced by the local electrical network, the airport as well as a number of houses. No information concerning victims is available for the time being.
7. According to the Resident Representative, the area around Puerto Barrios was the hardest hit. No damages seem to have occurred in other parts of the country.
8. In the affected area, preliminary information is the following:
- the town of Livingstone was the most damaged. Houses have suffered and part of the population was evacuated.
- In Puerto Barrios, severe damage occurred to the road infrastructure, houses and the energy system.
- The area around Morales experienced a continuing communication break-down.
- The harbour of Santo Tomas was hit by high waves.
- The town of Motagua was evacuated.
9. The Government Agency CONRED dispatched an assessment mission to the affected area and will report back soon.
10. Further information will be disseminated in the next situation report as soon as it becomes available.
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