Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Getting ready for the Eurocopa

We're at the end of a soggy seven day stretch here in Antigua, thanks to tropical storm Alma which, having made landfall in northern Belize mysteriously (to me at least) had a sex change before coming out again as Arthur, who then proceeded to traverse the neck of the Yucatan before plunging inland again over Tabasco. (Where, I learned recently, 70% of all of Mexico's annual rainfall occurs.)

It's been so inclement around here that the builders have stopped working on the site opposite and I have even watched a couple of episodes of El Chavo del 8.

One unfortunate victim of what is this season's first really nasty storm was TACA flight 390 which overshot the runway at Tegucigalpa and slid across a main road before breaking in two when it hit a bank of earth. 6 died including two luckless motorists, both pilots and two people in the First Class compartment: the President of a local development bank and the wife of the Brazilian ambassador to Honduras. It has been reported that like typical Central Americans the passengers had applauded the landing when the wheels of the Airbus first touched down on the sodden runway. Guatemala's own Aurora International airport has been closed for periods this week in order to avoid similar avionazos.

I'd been here 12 days before the first significant tremor: a 5.3 epicentred down on the Pacific plain. A couple of weeks back on R5 Dr Karl was explaining how people working on different levels in Shanghai skyscrapers had completely varied experiences of the recent quake in China. This is apparently because the oscillations caused by earthquakes map onto modern tall buildings as a sine curve, such that certain floors are null nodes which hardly shake at all, whilst others vibrate at the maximum.

Whether or not the weather soon improves as predicted I will soon be viewing around four hours of football per day and not really caring all that much. Having said that, the month of June often contains the Canícula ('dog days'), a fortnight of unrelenting sunshine that breaks up the early part of the wet season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The girls returned Monday, just as the really bad weather was cranking up...they had a blast in Guatemala and brought back lots of good stories, pictures, and mi suegra. (More news on that later.)

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