Wednesday, October 21st, 2015. BMG: The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has released its latest advisory for the public, which warns of rising rivers and encourages residents to remain vigilant in certain areas. It reads: As the rains continue flooding is expected across the country, in the upcoming days.
The Rio Hondo River is at flood stage and rising. Four boats and a Belize Defense Force (BDF) truck are on standby to assist Douglas and San Antonio residents with evacuation and movement to and from town. Residents are advised to move voluntarily for those who can.
The Belize River is rising and residents of Grace Bank; St. Paul’s Bank; Willows Bank; Double Head Cabbage; Bermudian Landing; Isabella Bank; Flowers Bank; May Pen; Burrell Boom, Lord’s Bank and Ladyville need to make the necessary preparations to protect life and property.
The Sibun River is receding in Gracie Rock; however water remains across the road, which is only accessible to high vehicles. In Freetown Sibun, the water has receded and the road is now passable to vehicular traffic. The Mopan River in Guatemala is at flood stage. The Mopan River in Belize is now two feet above normal and rising, the Macal River is 15 inches above normal. People living along the Macal and Mopan rivers must remain vigilant as both rivers continue to rise.
Arenal, Benque Viejo, Succotz, Calla Creek, Bullet Tree Falls and Santa Familia must pay particular attention to this notice. Chalillo Dam is 29.56 feet below the spillway, Mollejon is 3.68 feet below spillway and Vaca is 2.63 feet below the spillway River monitors will continue to observe throughout the night. The Cayo District Command Centre and Village Emergency Committee are on full alert. In Toledo, Bladden is receding but remains six feet above normal.
Corozal District: Classes continues in all schools with the exception of: I. Fireburn RC School II. Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School III. Sarteneja RC School
Orange Walk District: Classes continues in all schools.
Belize District: Classes continues for all schools with the exception of: I. Our Lady of the Way RC in Ladyville II. Queen Square Upper III. St. Mary’s Primary IV. Diocesan Pre-school V. Sr. Clara Mohammed Muslim Primary School VI. Grace Primary Parents, guardians and students are reminded that while classes are resuming in most schools in the affected districts; it is their decision whether or not they will send their children to school based on their individual situation as it relates to the safety and well-being of their families and children. Stay tuned for further announcements.
In Belize City two shelters remain open: ITVET and YWCA with 51 and 32 people respectively. In Orange Walk, the San Estevan Community Center is open with 15 people. In Corozal, 29 shelters from Guadalupe R.C School will be relocated to Ranchito Community Center. In Bomba the road is impassable due to flooding and is only open to BDF trucks and dump trucks. One shelter is open with two persons, others are with family members in the village. Pre-packaged food, blankets and water were distributed to the affected families today and boats are available to assist people who need to evacuate and be ferried to the other side.
4. The pier at the Maskall River in Bomba Village is under several feet of water with only the tip of the poles still above water. All shelters are being assisted with basic needs. A total of 129 persons are in shelter
The public is advised for one’s health and safety that it is not safe to play in flood waters as it puts the community and the country at severe risk for an outbreak of disease. If there is a concern, boil water for at least one minute before drinking if you are not using bottled water. Or use eight drops of Clorox or bleach to one gallon of water, stir it well before drinking. Sarteneja water system is down, however repairs should be completed by tomorrow evening.
Buena Vista water system has been affected but the water that people are using from the reservoir is clean. The Ministry of Health in Corozal will be providing purification tablets for all the affected areas. It is recommended to run tap water for five minutes before using the rigging illegal electrical wiring must cease as it is a serious threat to life and property. Perpetrators will be arrested and charged.
Cleopatra White Clinic is now open. Vector Control Officers are currently conducting preliminary assessments and spraying to prevent an outbreak of Dengue and Chikungunya. In San Pedro, health personnel will start spraying for mosquitoes on Thursday. The Ministry of Health is also asking the public to cooperate with these officers as they clean up breeding sites for mosquitoes.
Flooded and Passable: Sarteneja road is flooded but passable only to large vehicles. White Ridge Road leading to Gales Point is now open to vehicular traffic. Maskall road remains flooded but passable only to large vehicles and in some areas the road is washed out and poorly lit. Hopkins Road is under 1ft of water and is impassable to small vehicles. Blue Creek River is 1 ½ feet over the bridge and rising. This bridge is only passable to large vehicles. Drivers are asked to exercise extreme caution when crossing this area.
SHUTTLE FROM SARTENEJA TO COROZAL TOWN: Shuttle runs continue daily by the Coast Guard from Sarteneja to Corozal at 6:00 a.m. and from Corozal to Sarteneja at 3:00 p.m.
Digging of drains can only be done if the utility companies are notified and are involved in the digging. This notice must be adhered for communities using backhoes to dig drains in an effort to drain their community.
The public is advised to continue to pay close attention to NEMO advisories as most of the rivers are under flood watch.
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