Honduras suffered a crushing blow this morning, as a local earthquake lost 0.3 points from its original score in a rare case of score revision, leading to claims of judge bias. The new score bumped the earthquake from a New York Times front page headline all the way down to the Number 17 spot on BuzzFeed’s “20 Most Disastrous Earthquakes You’ve Never Heard Of” article.
Hondurans expressed indignation at the fact that their earthquake was downgraded, stating earthquakes hailing from more popular locales did not receive such harsh treatment.
“Sorry we don’t have the resources or funds of those fancy California earthquakes, and we’re not as exotic or interesting as those Southeast Asian quakes,” remarked Honduran resident Marco Gonzalez. “We just have honest, hardworking earthquakes. No frills.”
When asked why the earthquake lost points, judges pointed to lack of style. Russ Geller, a judge for the competition, specified that the earthquake’s subsequent aftershocks seemed desperate.
“It just made the earthquake appear clingy,” explained Geller. “It was like it knew its performance was mediocre, and it felt the need to reassert itself. But it just came back weaker and weaker.”
There were also suspicions of performance-enhancing disaster (PED) use, as a tsunami hit the Central American nation shortly after the quake, although judges and competition ethics officials would not confirm the allegations.
“We take all instances of PED use seriously,” read a statement released by competition officials, “and if any evidence of an earthquake using other disasters to better its own performance is found, we will investigate the case and punish those responsible accordingly. But we currently have no concrete evidence of such foul play.”
Local Hondurans also lamented the judges’ decision because of the attention a 7.0+ magnitude earthquake would have brought to the oft-forgotten developing country, which has yet to win an earthquake competition.
“We really could have used the Facebook fame,” explained Gonzalez. “Those likes and crying emoji reactions were all we had. What are we supposed to eat now?” For its part, international disaster relief agency the Burgundy Cross leapt into action, promising several deliveries of stale Pop Tarts and half a can of tuna in the coming weeks.
Though the earthquake may not have impressed the judges, residents still defended the besieged natural disaster, claiming it was effective, regardless of what the judges and international community thought.
“I thought it was a heck of an earthquake. I mean, it knocked my whole house over!” exclaimed Honduran resident Anita Salazar in an interview. “I mean, sure, it didn’t take everything I own, like some of the top tier earthquakes, but I still had to move my family into the refugee camp until we can rebuild our home. So, hey, at least it was worth something, right?”
The earthquake could not be reached for comment, but at time of production it was seen training, presumably preparing for another run at the title.
Written by: Daniel Melnick, Staff Writer