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#3194 - 10/02/00 12:37 PM Hurricane Report Keith: Monday 6 a.m. EST
Marty Offline
From: Belize Development Trust/Hurricane Net

Hurricane Keith has been fluctuating during the night. It has no
central eye, but winds have been reported at a consistant 100 mph, the
main intensity has dropped and some places in Belize on Ambergris Caye
are sighing for relief with just 70 mph winds.

The island of Caye Caulker continues to get pummeled, as the center of
the storm fluctuated through the night between Caye Caulker, the mainland
coast line and back out to just north of Turneffe Islands Atoll. At 6:30
a.m., the center of rotation was just north of Turneffe Islands Atoll and
east of Caye Caulker.


No word has been available from Caye Caulker and the GOB are anxious to
get an overflight of the island at daybreak to see what has happened.
Belize Telecommunications workcrews are expected to be on standbye for
the same purpose. To restore communications by phone rapidly with Caye
Caulker island and San Pedro town on the next island. Electricity has
been cut off for 24 hours now to both islands. This will take longer to
restore. Caye Caulker has had the storm pummelling it for 21 hours
straight. San Pedro has reported some respite during the night as the
storm center fluctuated away from that island. Winds at some point
dropped to a mild breeze of 40 mph. Except for one phone call by a
cellular from Mr. Reyes of Paradise Hotel, out of Caye Caulker, there has
been no communication or reports from the 1000 residents of this lobster
fishing town and tourist place just inside the barrier reef. The island
at it's highest point is only eight feet above sea level and is basically
a sand bar four miles long and a quarter mile wide with coconut trees and
mangrove trees.


It is rumored a British Forces on training activities in Belize will
send out a helicopter at daybreak in a couple of hours.

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#3195 - 10/02/00 01:32 PM Re: Hurricane Report Keith: Monday 6 a.m. EST
Marty Offline
Update, 6:30am
The center at daybreak seems to be forming again. In the last two
hours, the center has moved north about 10 miles from off the North Point
of Turneffe Atoll and East of Caye Caulker about 18 miles, further to the
northwest. It is now about 12 miles east of San Pedro town on Ambergris
Caye again.
The preliminary daylight satellite photos, show a small eye starting to
form east of San Pedro. Presumably this will pick up wind speeds around
the eye wall again. Man....

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#3196 - 10/02/00 01:37 PM Re: Hurricane Report Keith: Monday 6 a.m. EST
Jenn Offline
Man, this just keeps getting worse. THanks for all the updates Marty, still praying for everyone.

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#3197 - 10/02/00 02:25 PM Re: Hurricane Report Keith: Monday 6 a.m. EST
Marty Offline
Damages for Hurricane Keith
Belize Development Trust/Hurricane Net Monday 9 a.m. EST.

There have been so far, no casualities reported from Ambergris Caye. The West side of the island was flooded up to 8 to 10 ft and second stories. The southern part of the island from Victoria House south, probably also flooded. But the main part of the town is on bedrock limestone shelf, a part of the Yucatan Peninsular and 12 feet above sea level. So there is no real reason why anyone had to stay in a flooded area.

Caye Caulker is out of touch still, but we are expecting injuries and deaths in this small town. We can hope not, but it is most probable!

Hopefully, the politicians are marshalling mainland resources. The Belize Defense Force reconstruction teams of soldiers, tools and necesseties, bringing in nurses from the Toledo and Stann Creek District for the emergency, a doctor or two, and supplies to go to Caye Caulker soon as the weather permits travel.

Presumably a first team of BDF soldiers will go out and clear the airstrip of debris so personel and supplies can be airlifted in, soon as the weather gives a break.
If they haven't done it yet, they better get all this stuff done and sitting by on stand-bye on the mainland, to move out as the weather breaks. It will probably be necessary to charter water taxis and skiffs and boats in the mainland Belize City for transport of personel and relief supplies. There is no reason why Belize cannot solve it's own problems. There is nothing here that cannot be done with the human resources within Belize.

Presumably the expense of this operation will eventually be written off as a poverty exercise from some Foreign Loan. So let's do it right from the beginning, with accountants, bean counters and statistics, as well as people in the field. Hopefully, we will see good rescue and reconstruction leadership from that port town crowd. They sure didn't do a damn thing after Hurricane Fifi.

NEMO seems to be doing a good job. NEMO is the Hurricane Preparedness Committee. So far, as the reports and actions coming in, they really had their stuff and decision making apparatus together. While some may not have agreed with all the CALLS made, they still are organized and had contingency plans and followed through. I'm proud of how they are working as a team.

Nothing in the past media though, speaks of rescue and reconstruction plan preparation and that definitely should be moving into high gear preparations today, ready to go, at the drop of the weather. Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, San Pedro and Sarteneja will be the targets so far. Of them all, Caye Caulker will be the worst damaged area.

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