Quake killed four in Honduras

Posted 3:04 AM by crkota in Labels:
Tegucigalpa - A strong quake measuring at least 7.1 points struck offshore from the Central American country of Honduras on Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring dozens, local authorities said. Marcos Burgos, head of the Permanent Contingency Commission (Copeco), the Honduran civil defence agency, told the television channel Televicentro that the number of injured is rising, beyond the four deaths, as is the number of homes destroyed by the quake.

Moreover, he noted that the country's communications infrastructure suffered damages, so that the real magnitude of the quake's effects remained unknown.

The first confirmed quake death was that of a 15-year-old boy, who was killed when his house collapsed in Pineda de La Lima, 265 kilometres north of the capital Tegucigalpa, rescuers said.

Burgos noted that several fires had also been reported.

Dozens of people were injured in several locations, while hundreds of houses were reportedly in ruins.

The quake also damaged churches, a major bridge and caused power cuts.

US seismology officials put the strength of the quake at 7.1 points, but the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it measured 7.3 points.

Dozens of people were injured in San Pedro Sula in the north, several of them seriously.

A bridge known as La Democracia collapsed in El Progreso, cutting traffic.

Several churches were destroyed in the department of Santa Barbara near the Guatemalan border and in Comayagua in the centre of the country, Carlos Gonzalez of Copeco said.

Several regions were without electricity, drinking water and mobile phone services.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued a warning to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and other Caribbean areas except for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

However, only government agencies had the authority to take decisions on official alerts, the centre said.

The 30-second quake was caused by a collision between the Caribbean and North American plates, said seismology expert Gonzalo Cruz from the Honduras National Autonomous University.

US seismology officials said the quake struck at a depth of 10 kilometres and some 320 kilometres north-east of Tegucigalpa.

The quake was followed by up to five aftershocks. The extent of the damage in neighbouring countries was not yet known.

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