ISLAS DE BAHIA, HONDURAS- (WBAP/KLIF) – A dive island destination popular with American and international scuba divers has gone up in flames, with more than 200 homes and businesses destroyed and hundreds of people evacuated, having lost everything they owned. The fire on a small cay off the island of Guanaja, Honduras, called “Bonacca” or “Bonacca-town” by residents and tourists, burned unabated for the better part of 12 hours; fought by only buckets of water tossed by residents starting in the early morning hours of Saturday. It was only midday Saturday when it appeared the entire cay might be lost before the Honduran Air Force sent helicopters to drop water and help fight the blaze. Guanaja, Honduras, does not have a fire fighting force despite most structures and homes built of wood over the water.
Bonacca is home to about 6 thousand people, and where the majority of islanders on Guanaja live. The main island of Guanaja is mountainous and heavily forested; Bonacca is a small community of islanders that make a living from fishing and some from tourism on Guanaja proper. Donations of food and clothing are being collected throughout the Bay Islands; monetary donations from international divers and other tourists are being collected at https://www.gofundme.com/f/bonacca-fire-recovery-efforts?qid=87a31439a136fadac43af442f77eccf0. This donation site, one of many, is considered safe for internationally originated donations.
Guanaja was virtually destroyed by the 1998 Hurricane Mitch, which sat atop the island for three days after being downgraded to tropical storm status.
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