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#282482 - 06/03/08 03:57 AM Total Disaster on Belize Mainland
Short Offline
Tropical Storm Arthur wrecked the entire country

Here on the islands we were relatively lucky, although many boats sank, we had beach erosion and several areas flooded, the mainland suffered a lot of damage and there is talk of 7 casualties. Floodings are massive and many people are in need of food, housing and clothes. As if it couldn't be worse it looks like the rice farmers have lost this year's harvest - there is a 3-month stock and after that Belize is out of rice. The next few days will tell us just how bad the situation is and I hope the weather gods will be favourable to Belize for the rest of this season.

Tropical Storm Arthur wreaks havoc nationwide (Channel5)
When a hurricane is threatening Belize we traditionally cross our fingers and keep a close watch on the Eastern horizon. But over the weekend, while steady rains marked an early end to the dry season, a relatively weak Pacific tropical storm name Alma broke up over the mountains of Central America and regrouped over northwest Belize into the barest of Atlantic tropical storms named Arthur. But what Arthur lacked in the way of winds he more than made up for with rain. Estimates of ten to fifteen inches fell in crucial areas from Corozal to Toledo, filling rivers that soon overflowed their banks. Particularly hard hit were the waterways running through the country’s citrus belt: the North Stann Creek, Mullins, Sittee and Kendal rivers. As a result of the raging waters the Hummingbird Highway was washed out near Middlesex, several villages were isolated and the bridge at Kendal totally destroyed, thus severing the Southern Highway and isolating the Toledo and Southern Stann Creek districts from the rest of the country. News Five's Janelle Chanona is just back from a grueling road trip to the south and she joins me in the studio.

Red Cross appeals for canned food, clothes (Channel5)
As one of the key players in times of crisis, this morning the Belize Red Cross activated its disaster response committee. According to Executive Director Lily Bowman, Red Cross employees and volunteers are already conducting assessments in Stann Creek, Toledo, Orange Walk and Corozal.

Prime Minister Barrow Declares National Emergency (7News)
Like we said, the floods are truly historic: both for their awesome force and for the death toll they exacted. At a press conference today in Belmopan, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said it was a terrible loss but they are determined to make sure it won’t surprise them again.

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“This is a national emergency, this is a national disaster. We first of all express condolences to those families that have lost loved ones, to those that have seen lives lost. That is the most naturally unfortunate aspect of this tragedy that has unfolded and that is unfolding.

Col. Lovell has said that there are two confirmed lives lost and there are 5 other persons reported missing but there is no confirmation that those people are dead. In terms of people that were stranded on rooftops and that sort of thing, that situation is under control. The water in those areas have receded to the point where those people are not in any danger.

We do have a fear that because the Met Office now tells us that the rains are likely to continue for another day or two, that there could be a resurgence of the flood waters to the levels that we saw last night and early this morning. There are people who as the waters have been receding, have been telling us that they simply are not going to leave their homes and their villages. Boats are actually stationed in Gales Point, in Mullins River, and in Sittee so that we have the situation being constantly monitored and if it appears that there is going to be a resurgence, we will press these people again to evacuate and we will have the means for their evacuation.”

National Emergency & Disaster: Flash Floods Kill 5 in Southern Belize (7News)
Tonight 5 are confirmed dead and 2 more are suspected dead in southern Belize, the victims of flash floods swept through the south eastern Stann Creek District this morning. The floods are the result of a weather system – related to Tropical Storm Arthur that dumped close to a dozen inches of rain all across Belize in 4 days of relentless showers. And those 4 days caused a fearful swell in the river this morning, something rarely heard of in Southern Belize, a flash flood where the river level raised by feet in a few hours. It caused deaths in three villages: the Valley Community, Hope Creek and Sittee. Our 7NEWS team has been on the ground, in the air and in the water tracking down the story today.

Loss of Blue Creek Rice Crop means trouble ahead (Channel5)
As bad as the human and economic loss was in the south, the damage caused to crops in the north may have even further reaching effects on Belizeans. News Five’s Stewart Krohn spoke by phone to rice farmer Peter Dyck of Blue Creek. His company—Hillbank Agricultural—and others in the area, grow the vast majority of the nation’s vital rice crop. Dyck reports that the situation is nothing short of a disaster.

Arthur Pounded Belize City (7News)
As we’ve shown you, Tropical Storm Arthur and its aftermath were devastating in southern Belize. And in Belize City heavy winds and pounding rain also took a toll in Belize City. Many homes had their zinc sheetings displaced, but in some low income areas of the city, it was much worse than that, Jacqueline Godwin found out more today.

Trip up Northern Hwy. shows extensive flooding (Channel5)
While Janelle Chanona was making her way south, News Five’s Marion Ali was heading in the opposite direction. While she was not able to make it as far as the villages along the Rio Hondo and it’s tributaries, what she saw along the Northern Highway was not pretty.
Live and let live

#282502 - 06/03/08 09:45 AM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: Short]
NYgal Offline
The mainland is in trouble again. Good Grief.

#282503 - 06/03/08 09:45 AM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: NYgal]
Marty Offline

#282511 - 06/03/08 10:23 AM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: Short]
elbert Offline
And just five days ago we where praying for rain. Dust everywhere, wells threatened of drying up. :-)
The water is going down this morning , the sun just broke through.
I'm going diving!
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#282570 - 06/03/08 01:48 PM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: elbert]
canukgirl Offline
I'm just wondering where we drop off clothes on the island.......it said Red Cross, but I don't know where that is.

#282636 - 06/03/08 08:17 PM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: canukgirl]
Short Offline
Don't know about the island, but you can drop it of at the BHA in Belize City:

Originally Posted By: BHA
Dear BHA Members,

Over the weekend, every Belizean was affected in one way or the other by T.S. Arthur. Arthur dumped rain over the enitre country and particularly hit the hardest were those in the south and the north. In an effort to assist in some way, BHA now calls on its members who were spared, and who can, to assist in helping those in need.

Any donation of clothes, food, blankets, sheets, etc. can be sent to the BHA office during normal working hours for further delivery to the Belize Red Cross.

Extend a helping hand by donating to those who were severely affected.


Donna Bradley
Belize Hotel Association
#13 Cork Street
[behind The Great House Inn]
P.O. Box 2480
Belize City, Belize, C.A.
Tel/Fax: [501) 223-0669
Mobile: [501] 602-8006
Website: www.belizehotels.org
Live and let live

#282662 - 06/03/08 11:05 PM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: Short]
H20dog Offline
Flash flooding carries away houses in Belize

BELIZE CITY (AP) - Flash flooding carried away houses and ripped a child from his father's grasp in Belize, raising the death toll from Central America's twin tropical storms to at least seven - with rain still causing floods Tuesday in neighboring Mexico.

The remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Alma swept over Belize hours before Tropical Storm Arthur roared in from the Caribbean on Saturday at the Mexico-Belize border.

Witnesses said a couple and their 14-year-old daughter died when a flash flood swept away a house in southern Belize's Stann Creek Valley early Monday. The couple's 12-year-old son is missing.

"That flood just came right now, sudden one, and when I look I saw my nephew's house over there and I told him to get out," Bedford Ritchie told Channel 7. "It looks like he was trying to pack up his things and the water didn't give him any break. The water just come right up and picked up their house and took it down there and mashed it up."

Wellington McKenzie told Channel 7 that a friend died trying to help him rescue others in their neighborhood.

"He couldn't stand up no more and he went underneath my house and there he drowned," McKenzie said.

Officials also were searching for a young boy who was pulled from his father's arms by floodwaters as the two tried to reach the safety of a mango tree.

"I went underneath the water and I bit my little boy in his hand, just to hold him, and by the time I came up back, he was gone," Philberto Roches, told Channel 7. "So I turned around and tried to find him and never did find him again."

The death toll had yet to be confirmed by authorities.

Nicaragua's navy announced it had found the storm-wrecked boat and body of one of three Costa Rican fisherman missing since Thursday, and it was still searching for the two other missing men.

One man was electrocuted earlier by wind-whipped power lines in Nicaragua and a 7-year-old girl drowned in Honduras.

High waters in Belize left dozens stranded on their roofs, washed out a key bridge to the southern section of the country and damaged highways.

Papaya plantations, shrimp farms and the country's three-month supply of rice were also wiped out.

Mexico's Communications and Transportation Department said Tuesday that the Gulf oil port of Dos Bocas had reopened while Cayo Arcas was still closed because of strong winds and rough seas. Mexico exports roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, mainly to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Officials in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Tabasco reported that thousands of people were forced from their homes by flooding.


#282672 - 06/04/08 03:10 AM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: H20dog]
Short Offline
There are several topics about Tropical Storm Arthur on this Message Board, so I thought it would be handy to summarise them here:

Ambergris Caye: Arthur is Season's First...
Weather: Tropical Storm Arthur hits Yucatan
Caye Caulker: T S Arthur
Stann Creek: Diaster
Nation: Analysing NEMO after Arthur
Nation: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland
Cayo: How did Arthur and the Cayo greet each other?
Live and let live

#282705 - 06/04/08 11:44 AM Re: Total Disaster on Belize Mainland [Re: Short]
Marty Offline
The SPBA is cooperation with the Lions Club and Reef Radio are organizing a Relief Effort for the victims of Tropical Storm Aurthur. There will be a live Radiothon starting at 10 am today. Anyone wishing to make donations may call into Reef Radio. You can also deliver any donations to the San Pedro Lions Den. Donations of money, food, clothing and even toys are welcome and appreciated. Please remember that the families affected lost everything.


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