An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Honduras at around midnight two days ago. The epicentre of the two-minute quake was the Caribbean coast just north of Bay Islands. Six people have been reported dead and 25 injured.
The impact of the quake on 28 May 2009 was very strong in the Bay Islands. Suggestions that another quake may strike is adding to the tension.
Javier Soler, president of Mennonite World Conference member church Amor Viviente in Honduras, reports that the congregations she knows of have not suffered casualties but that several church buildings have been damaged.
Soler continues to attempt to contact others throughout the country but says that communication is difficult. Electricity was interrupted in several areas and internet connections, phones and mobiles are not working.
Unlike their Central American neighbours who do experience earthquakes, Hondurans generally receive only small aftershocks but this time it was the other way around, says Soler.
This quake was felt all over the country, but the north coast (Bay Islands, Puerto Cortés, San Pedro Sula, Progreso, Lima, Ceiba and Tela) sustained the greatest damage to homes, public and historic buildings, churches, hotels and roads. In El Progreso, Yoro, parts of the main bridge connecting the city collapsed.
The main port at Puerto Cortés was closed but all four international and domestic airports remained open.
Church agencies are responding to the situation with relief and assistance. Soler is calling for prayer and support.
CAFOD is among the British church aid and development agencies working with partners in the region.
With thanks to Ferne Burkhardt, Mennonite World Conference (MWC) News Editor