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Honduras: Hurricane Felix Creates a Blogstorm

Hurricane Felix

Image by Fecke and used under a Creative Commons license.

A storm of blog entries has appeared as Hurricane Felix approaches the Nicaraguan shore. The most recent computer models show Felix hitting the north shore of Nicaragua, its eye moving inland across the mountainous north of Honduras.

Fearful of disaster, the Honduran government evacuated tourists from Roatan, in the Bay Islands, which this morning seemed to be the likeliest target of the hurricane's wrath. Natalie Grace, of Travel Blog , reports on Felix:

The powerful, Category 4 storm spurred Grupo Taca Airlines to provide special free flights to the mainland. Planes were quickly touching down and taking off again to scoop up more tourists. Some 1,000 people were evacuated from the Honduran island of Roatan, popular for its pristine reefs and diving resorts. Another 1,000 were removed from low-lying coastal areas and smaller islands.

The last major hurricane to make landfall in Honduras was Mitch in 1998. An enormous category 5 storm, Mitch parked itself mercilessly over Guanaja for 3 entire days. Miraculously only 10 people died on the island. Nevertheless the images of devastation in the island were terrible. All the trees were stripped of branches and leaves, leaving only bare trunks, like silent totems.

After leaving Guanaja, Mitch raced inland where more than seven thousand people were killed in flash floods and mudslides. Honduras had never experienced a hurricane so far inland. Since Mitch had been so close to Honduras for almost a week, the ground was already saturated with water. No one in living memory could remember a Hurricane striking as far inland as Tegucigalpa, for instance.

Katherine Marrow, who lives in a relatively safe mountain town, wrote about Felix in her blog, Life in Honduras :

Yes …. there is a hurricane heading to Honduras….and yes…I am in Honduras!! Good news is that it will most likely miss us here. Siguatepeque is right in the centre of Honduras and the safest place to be as it is so central and in the mountains. We are expecting it to be a bit windy(!?) with heavy rains, flooded roads, mudslides etc. But nothing as dramatic as the coast is going to be.

La gringa, of La Gringa's Blogicito, says in her blog, “We are taking Felix seriously now.” She tells her readers: “Believe me, opening my email and reading about ‘catastrophic’ hurricanes every few hours is more than a little disconcerting − especially for someone who has never been anywhere near a hurricane before.” She adds some comforting words “don't assume the worst if you can't get through” because everyone will be trying to call friends and relatives at once.

Trish, of Sowers for Pastors currently is hosting a mission team, that given their remote location in the mountains of Honduras, might become stranded by mudslides and poor road conditions. She says:

Our greatest concern is that the roads between us and the major cities may be significantly damaged, through road washouts, landslides, floods, and destroyed bridges. If the infrastructure of Honduras is severely damaged, this will certainly affect us.

In an earlier post, she reminisced of her time in Guanaja when that island was recovering after the ravages of Hurricane Mitch. “The island of Guanaja, and the people there, will always be close to our hearts.”, she wrote.

Bob Barbanes, who writes in Helicopter Pilot, moved back to the United States after living and flying his helicopter for a while in the Bay Islands. He details some of Mitch's antics, and volunteers to help in the aftermath. “And if you folks need a helicopter pilot after the storm passes, I'm ready to come back and help.” he wrote.

By the way, who would name a storm Felix? Felix means “happy” in Latin. My fingers clamp when I type its name, wanting to spell “Feliz” instead.

For my fellow Hondurans, please be safe and prepare. Hopefully this storm will quickly pass, and no lives will be lost.

36 comments

  • Ana

    Thanks for this entry =) I too hope nothing severe happens. I’m from Honduras and lived there during Hurricane Mitch. I now live in Florida…and while I’m sure my family in Tegucigalpa, I’m praying nothing happens to those on the coast.

  • April

    My sister lievs on utila. She says they took down the communication antennaes around 5PM CDT, buries the boats, got all the guests out of there and are heading to higher ground on the island. Said it was a zoo trying to get people out. They’ve been there for 12 years, so they road through Mitch on Roatan…they are taking this very seriously.

  • david grunfeld

    I covered Mitch for the Times-Picayune, the New Orleans newspaper. There are thousands of CA families living in our area. I’m very interested in Utila, La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula. During Mitch the Louisiana National Guard helped rebuild Honduras. I am interested in getting on an e-mail list with the most up to date information available.
    Please advise.
    Good Luck with the storm.

    David

  • Thanks Ana, April and David, for reading and commenting! David mentioned he’d like to be on a mailing list for Felix.

    You might try the Honduras Living group on Yahoo, they have hundreds of messages a day, and today, many of them talked about Felix. I have every message sent to my mailbox, which I automatically forward to my RSS reader.

    The URL is

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/honduras_living/

    Aaron Ortiz

  • mama sue

    My son and daughter in law on Utila, Im so frightened for them

  • Check out the Roatan Discussion Group for up to date info from residents on Hurricane Felix in Honduras. The group has over 2200 members, many living in Roatan and along the North Coast.

  • I’ve had a sick feeling in my stomach since Monday when I found that Felix could directly hit Honduras. I’ve been to Urraco Pueblo, Yoro, four times in the last two years doing mission work in the little community. I just love the people there and have made many friends while building homes and updating the medical clinic. Thanks for suggesting the Yahoo Message Board and I’ll see what additional info I can get from it.

  • Dean

    URL did not go through so here it is:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/roatan/

  • Julius Payne

    I’m from Honduras living in the US for 17 years, have family in La Ceiba, ESPERO QUE TODO PASE SIN QUE PASE NADA. Will call my doughter Lurbin today.
    LORD PLEASE KEEP ALL THE PEOPLE SAFE AND OUT OF DANGER.

  • jessica

    I hope this hurricane turns into a tropical storm, my daughter is in honduras she is only two years old and i am in new york for the past two weeks, i am very worried for my family i pray to God everything will be alright!

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