Terremoto – earth in motion. On October 9, 1995, an earthquake of about 7.6 struck the area about 15 kms. east of Manzanillo, very close to the little town of Melaque, one of my favourite vacation spots. In the previous post I showed a photo of how construction workers used wooden poles to prop up the ceilings until the cement dried. Apparently they should be putting more re-bar into the constructions as the cement structures caved in rather badly during the 1995 earthquake, one of the worst of the past century. These photos are of the remains of one of the grandest hotels on the Melaque beach. As I looked at the collapsed ceilings and floors, I wondered about the people who might have been staying there at the time. If a huge building like this collapsed, I wonder how many other buildings and homes around the area fared. I’ve read that 40 lives were lost that day, and about 100 people were injured. For more on this earthquake, read about it and see photos here.
Right across the street from the collapsed Casa Grande Resort, were relatively new bungalows where we stayed for several weeks. Looking across the street at the destruction of the Casa Grande, where only the pigeons lived now, strutting in and out of open windows, roosting on the rusted out air conditioners hanging there by a few wires, I wondered how we would fare in the new building if another earthquake struck. I would want to have a suite with a balcony and not have to rely on escape through the wrought iron gate which would surely be buckled and stuck in place.
Our bungalows were lovely though, and only a two-minute walk from the beach. Sure, we sometimes had to pick our way around fishing nets spread out on the sand, but that only added to the beauty of the place.
Melaque has bounced back from the 1995 disaster. The collapsed hotel is still in ruins and, to my knowledge, no restoration work has been done on it. I’m told it is now in a land dispute situation. The rest of Melaque and the other towns that surround the bay are alive with tourists as usual.