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Minister for Disaster Risk Management details worst-hit areas after Julia-related floods

Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2022. 8:41 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: According to Minister for Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Orlando Habet, the floods in the Cayo District caused by rains from Hurricane Julia differ from the flood event following Hurricanes Eta and Iota in 2020 – but appear just as devastating.

Orlando “Landy” Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development

“Whilst we might not have had the rise in the river as much as it happened during Eta and Iota, this one has some devastation that also didn’t occur with that flooding event because of where the water fell, and apparently all the water fell in the productive sector areas apart from what was coming from up in the Mopan and Macal area,” Minister Habet told the Government Press Office following a flyover of the affected areas earlier on Wednesday.

He witnessed ruined sugar cane fields belonging to Santander Group near Valley of Peace; dead livestock and swamped crops, and damage to houses in the upper Macal and Mopan valleys near Santa Familia and Calla Creek. Bridges into both areas remain under water, although water has receded in San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town.

The Minister also viewed the over spilled dams along the Macal; it is estimated that within the next two to three days, the floodwaters will come down into the Belize River Valley and cause flooding there, especially where there is a backup.

Habet said a further damage assessment will be conducted after the waters subside, but a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture was present to note losses in crops of beans and corn and livestock and the worry will be about food security in the short term, including the time it will take to prepare the soil and replant. He noted that the flyover took place as much as 72 hours after the event and expressed a desire for such assessments to be faster, as well as for improved early warning systems to be put in place.


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