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National Emergency Management Organization issues update on Tropical Depression 14

Posted: Friday, August 21, 2020. 9:20 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The National Meteorological Services of Belize and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) issued advisory number 2 on Tropical depression 14 in the Caribbean Sea.

The Tropical depression continues to move to the west at 17mph with maximum sustained winds of 35mph.

 The official forecast is for Tropical Depression 14 is to continue moving westward for the next 12 hours or so then to recurve to the WNW and eventually NW later on Friday.

The system is forecasted to strengthen into a tropical storm by Friday.

On this track, the system is forecast to make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, north of Belize, late on Saturday.

If the system takes the southernmost path of the forecast cone it will make landfall just north of the Belize/Mexico border.

 In that case the northern parts of the country would feel the greatest impact including heavy rainfall of up to 2-4 inches and gusty winds.

However, the remainder of the country could also experience heavy rainfall and possible flooding from the outer bands of this system.

The National Meteorological Service will continue to monitor this system very closely and update NEMO accordingly.

NEMO says that if the situation changes for the worse, it would activate its national mechanism and declare Phase II -Red I to put in effect a provisional Tropical Storm Watch for the coast of Belize which means (1) people will need to put their family plan into action, (2) the public would be advised to shelter in place in a safe building, (3) school managements would be notified that NEMO needs to access schools as shelters, (4) a price freeze would be issued for all goods (5) public and private essential agencies and utility companies would be informed to release their employees to seek shelter for their safety, (5) road infrastructure works would have to prioritize actions that will enable mass evacuation and (6) media houses and telephone service providers would be advised to secure their communication infrastructure, including other actions.

All in high-risk areas are reminded IF the need arises for you to evacuate, move early, know which shelter you will go to, take along your essential necessities required for you to survive.

COVID 19 Shelter Protocols and SI -119 of 2020 shall be adhered to. You must wear a mask, people showing symptoms will be contained in a separate section of the shelter building, hand washing /sanitizing must be done before entering a shelter.

Shelter Wardens and Managers will allocate shelter space. Social distance must be adhered to and shelters must be sanitized on a regular basis garbage properly disposed of. Proper cleaning and disinfection cannot be emphasized enough. The elderly and persons with underlying health conditions must not occupy the same space with normal persons.

Shelter Managers must monitor and correct hygiene and cough /sneeze etiquette.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) staff will conduct daily monitoring of shelters to detect people who are sick and showing signs of COVID19. The Shelter Management Team (Public Officers/ Volunteers) MUST use PPE. The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936. NEMO’s Emergency Coordinators can be reached as follows:

  1. Corozal, Mr. Ronnie Hernandez at 614 7140;
  2. Orange Walk, Mr. Aragon at 615 2264; or Mr. Leiva at 614 7177
  3. Belize District, Mr. Alphius Gillett at 614 4735;
  4. San Pedro, Ms. Vanessa Parham at 614 5865;
  5. Belize City, Mr. Al Westby at 614 8604 or Mr. Pollard at 6143244;
  6. Belmopan, Ms. Clare Moody at 614 5705; or Mr. Eiley at 624 2365
  7. Cayo, Mr. Al Westby at 6148604 or Mr. Johnny Ramclam at 614 5891;
  8. Stann Creek -Coastal- Dangriga including Mullins River to Independence),
  9. Mr. Kevin Flores at 604 3632
  10. Stann Creek -Interior- Hummingbird and Southern highway communities, Mr. David Cruz at 614 8514; and for
  11. Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 614 2158 or Mr. Dennis Williams at 614 2393

NEMO says that it do not anticipate the need to evacuate San Pedro and the cayes.

NEMO will keep the general public updated on any further developments.

The public is advised to stay alert and start putting your plan into action.


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