Friday, May 29, 2009

$100 Million Damage in Honduras

Authorities reported today an early estimate that approximately U.S. $100 million in damage was caused by the magnitude 7.1 quake that struck early Thursday morning. Six persons were killed.

Marco Burgos of the Comisión Permanente de Contingencias (Copeco) , stated that this was a preliminary estimate and that damage assessments were still underway, particularly at the dock of Puerto Cortés where something serious might happen."

According to Burgos, major damage occurred on the premises of the National Port Company (ENP) in Puerto Cortes.

"The pier is 50 percent operational and inspections are being done by divers to see if there is damage to infrastructure," he explained.

Other major damage occurred in the La Democracia Bridge on the River Ulúa in El Progreso, Yoro Department, which fell into the river. Reconstruction will cost 20 to 25 million dollars.

"Also the levees were broken in 12 places and that it is serious, especially now that we are in winter," the officer lamented.

Sula Valley, the most productive in the country, with the thriving financial capital of San Pedro Sula, is protected by concrete retaining walls to control flooding from the Ulúa and Chamelecón rivers.

After Hurricane Mitch, which hit the country in 1998, the rivers of Honduras are loaded with sediment and have very little capacity to handle large runoff. When it rains, the rivers flood and retaining walls have been built along the banks of the rivers to prevent flooding, especially in the flatlands of the valley in La Lima and El Progreso.

"The pier, the bridge, and the retaining walls have suffered damage but also private companies have suffered losses, such as the hotels Copantl Sula and el Sula. Also the court building at San Pedro Sula will have to be rebuilt, and eight colonial churches were damaged," said deploró Burgos.

Burgos added that work has already begun to repair damage, starting with removing landslides that fell on roads, and a Bailey Bridge is being considered in La Democracia.

The epicenter of the quake was 63 km north of Roatan and was felt in the neighboring countries of Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

No comments:

Post a Comment