Thursday, May 28, 2009

LDS Church Reports All Missionaries Safe And No Damage To Church Buildings After Devastating 7.1 Earthquake In Honduras

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reports that all missionaries working in the area are safe after a devastating earthquake struck Honduras. In addition, Church officials also report they had not received any word on any structural damage to church buildings. The Church is positioning itself to provide aid and recovery assistance to the affected area; after earthquakes in other areas, assigned LDS missionaries are diverted from normal proselytization to assisting in recovery efforts.

The earthquake, which struck at 2:24 Honduras time on May 28th, 2009, registered 7.1 on the Richter scale, lasted about 30 seconds and was centered around Honduras' Roatan Island, approximately 80 miles (130 km) northeast of La Ceiba. It originated at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles. So far, at least six people are known dead and another 50 injured. Some 60 houses and scores of other buildings across the north of Honduras were wrecked. The quake also caused damage in 42 municipalities in the country; hardest hit were the municipalities of La Lima and El Negrito, in the department of Yoro (northeast), in Tela (north) and Gracias (west) city. In El Progreso, 231 km north of Tegucigalpa, the bridge La Democracia collapsed. Some damage was also reported in Belize. The quake was also felt in southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and northern Nicaragua. Seventeen aftershocks, all at 4.0 or greater, have since been reported.

The following YouTube video of an AP report in Spanish shows the destruction:

And here's another video in Spanish, from CNN International:

Schools have been closed and electrical, telephone, and Internet services have been interrupted.

San Pedro Sula, near the quake's epicenter, is to host a general assembly of the Organization of American States on June 2nd and 3rd. Two hotels in San Pedro Sula are reported damaged, and the city's primary road link to the interior was interdicted with the collapse of one of the two spans of the La Democracia bridge. A CNN report has a good photo of the damaged bridge. It appears the conference will continue despite the quake.

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