Latest on Hurricane Earl relief efforts

Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2016. 10:30 p.m. CST.

By Aaron Humes: The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) says it is now focusing on providing immediate relief to victims of Hurricane Earl and restoring critical facilities and operational normalcy in addition to assessing critical sectors.DSCN3226

As of Sunday evening, 164 persons remain in shelters in the Belize and Cayo Districts; of these, 78 reside at Unity Presbyterian School, St. John Vianney R.C. School and St. Luke Methodist School; 9 persons are at San Pedro High School and the villages of Teakettle, More Tomorrow, St. Matthew’s and Cotton Tree still have shelters open.

NEMO is distributing emergency food packs, water, tarps to cover roofs and plastic sheeting.

Rural Water Systems in Santa Familia are not operational while flooding has affected water quality at Billy White village; Bullet Tree Falls and other district water systems have resumed normal operations. Emergency water relief is being organized for those in need. Harvesting of rainwater is always encouraged. Belmopan and San Pedro’s BWS-run systems are under low water pressure due to leaks and water systems in rural Belize District are on generators as BEL continues to restore power, especially in the River Valley area.

Speednet continues to restore coverage to all of Belize City  while for BTL, much of the River Valley and Rural Belize District are without mobile voice or data service due to cell site outages which are being repaired.

Sufficient Fuel oil stocks are available for immediate relief.

San PImmediate humanitarian relief assessments are in their final stage. There are a few communities with gaps that are being addressed. A separate longer economic impact assessment will follow the immediate relief assessments. Clean up continues in Belize City, Ladyville and surrounding communities. Household and material relief operations will commence as soon as the information is compiled and verified.

There is a warning still in effect for floods along the Mopan, Macal and Belize Rivers, affecting communities in Cayo and the Belize District.

There is one and a half feet of water on the road in Isabela Bank. Scotland half-moon residents need to continue to move to safety; and in May Pen several families are cut off but okay. The Livestock holding facility near Double Head Cabbage is available to safeguard livestock. People living in La Democracia; coastal highway community; Gales Point; Mullins River; Gracie Rock; Hattieville; Freetown Sibun, and Butcher Burns are advised to take note. The Water is falling in Gracie Rock and rising in Freetown Sibun.

On the road to Challilo, Vaqueros Bridge is becoming impassable to traffic. Ministry of Works assistance is urgently requested. Spanish lookout via Baking Pot Ferry and Iguana Creek Bridge are impassable at this time. The access route through Bullet Tree Falls village via the Bullet Tree Bridge is open. The wooden bridge in San Ignacio across the Macal River remains closed and is seriously damaged. ]

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS THIS BRIDGE. Calla Creek Hammock Bridge has been destroyed. The Roaring Creek Bridge also remains open. The Manatee (Coastal) road is flooded at the bridge coming from the George Price Highway, access is open from the Hope Creek junction. In Maskal the river is 2.5 ft., under the bridge. In Bomba the river is 3ft above normal and rising. People living in these flood prone areas are being strongly encouraged to seek safety and move to higher grounds to protect life.

NEMO Human Resource Management Committee continues to make the plea to those public officers who have not reported for duty in Belize City to show up. Your absence is causing a strain and fatigue on the dedicated Public Officers doing assessments, providing relief and managing the Shelter operations.

NEMO advises that Belize is not under threat from tropical cyclones at this time and further updates are expected.

© 2016, This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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