Guatemala 2013 Blog Four- Shaken not stirred

On Friday as GlobalFire team members were winding the day down at the fire station a truly unexpected event hit. As the team was unloading supplies from a pick-up truck the ground started to shake. Those standing on the street really felt the  movement. A quick scan of the street showed no large vehicles going by. Then one of the Bombero translators yelled to exit the building and stay clear of all wires. Looking up as the earth continued to shake and gain momentum, the fire station's steel roof was swaying back and forth. All the fire apparatus were moving violently, diving down on their suspensions. People on the street were running. It lasted for an unspecified amount of time as time seemed to slow right down. We just had an earthquake, a 6.6 earthquake. The GlobalFire team were all fine but just a little shaken. As it ended, calls began to stream in.

The Bomberos returned the team to the hotel and were told to prepare for after-shocks. As per protocol each GlobalFire member packed their GO- BAGS. A GO-BAG is a bag set at the foot of your bed in the event of a quick evacuation. It contains everything important like passports, cash, medications, socks, shirt, water, flash light etc. Basically everything you need on the street if you had two seconds to leave your room as you would only have running shoes and hopefully shorts on.

Each member was prepped on a meeting spot in the event of an evacuation and as everyone knows the more you prepare the less chance it will happen. That being said, at 02:30 the hotel began to shake from an after-shock and each member began their quick evacuation. The all clear was given and all returned to quarters. There were more to come but nothing of any consequence for us.

The following day the news reported a few collapses of houses in Guatemala, rock slides and fires. Retalhuleu and Company 11 had one fire overnight, broken glass and few minor injuries.

 

Posted on September 7, 2013 .