PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: 6.1M Guatemala
From: rbenitez@........
Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 13:50:40 -0500 (CDT)

> Hello Rolando Benitez,  If you have time, would you tell the group about
> your experience.
> Thanks, Ted

Hello Ted,
Here is a fragment of an email I sent few hours after the quake. I am just
reading your msg today monday, after several days out of the country.

We have had several strong quakes in the recent weeks, sometimes a lesser
magnitude event is felt stronger when it is closer and shallower that the
one of sunday morning, I say this because 6 hours before the M6.1 we had a
M4 but at 12km deep and at about  6 miles away... it rattled everything
but for a shorter time. Here is the edited comment:

"The story begun last midnight. I just came home from a hospital check in
Florida at about 0300 UTC. At exactly 0600 UTC we had a very strong
movement but short in duration. I was not in the mood to check it in the
computer at that very time, but it called every one's attention. This
morning while I was checking the data logger pc and calculating the P and
S locations in the trace of the midnight event, all of the sudden I felt a
very strong vertical movement that lasted some seconds followed by an even
stronger rocking movement. At this time every piece of glass at home was
rattling, some books fell down from the shelves and the alarm in the cars
went off. This event felt like it lasted forever.

As I was in front of the datalogger, I were able to "watch" the event in
real time. It begun with no previous warning or precursors and had just
one small aftershock. The P and S arrivals were very clearly felt and
differentiated. Rayleigh and Love waves also were felt, they had a slower
rocking movement. The event was sensible for over 5 minutes, the sensors
kept on moving for over 20 minutes. The traces in the pc were totally
saturated, the sensors were literally moving from stop to stop for a
while. An interesting and scary experience to say the least.

So far there has been reports of some damages in the area near the
epicenter, some injured but no casualties so far.

An active volcano (Santiaguito), near the epicenter started to erupt
violently just at the time of the quake and it still is abnormally
exacerbating erupting. Others Like the Pacaya volcano and Fuego volcano
start erupting also but with lesser intensity. They all are in the
epicenter vicinity.

If we could predict the earthquakes, I am sure these could be a very
interesting ones to call for a seismologists meeting, I can bet nobody
would get boring."

Well hope this help to spoil your curiosity on learning more about living
in quake territory, or to mitigate your wanting to know.
Best regards,

My postings are in the PSN web page. We have had several dozens of
aftershocks since the major one...


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