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#391224 - 10/28/10 09:10 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A Panorama Of Ruin In The Yabra Area

And now that the storm related jaguar - attack is behind us, the human catastrophe arising from Hurricane Richard is just starting to unfold in a diversity of morbid symptoms - foremost among them are shortages of essential supplies for families in southside Belize City who lost virtually everything in the storm.

This morning Andrea Polanco went to the Yabra Community center where folks were lining up for clothing donations - where she found the mood was bitter and fed up….

Indira Arnold, Yarborough Resident
"We need water, we need clothes and we need food too, groceries and things like that because all they are doing so far are making us write down our name and nobody come to help us any at all. Our representative; we haven't seen his face yet, I don't know where he is right now but I know that he must be enjoying himself but we are not enjoying our self. If you notice how long this line here right, you know how hectic things are at the back here right now? Some of us haven't eaten for like 3 days, you think it's a joke? Ah I have my mother-in-law right there in the line and she have to go to work later. She has to stand up in line, that woman feet are swell right now. We need some help urgently ASAP quick fast and hurry before we die. Please don't let them come around with paper and pen because we are tired of that. Everything is 3 days, how they know if we will live to see 3 days and they still haven't put in the light back here, what are they trying to do? They already see that this is a hot zone. They want these boys to kill one another back here. Frustration is already kicking in from this hurricane. They need to come and deal with back here. Why are they neglecting here? Why you are neglecting back here Dean Barrow?"

Yabourough Resident
"Like everybody else people need food, clothes and shelter. People need plywood and stuff like that but I am different I don't know about the other people, but in the neighborhood people are trying to get food and stuff but the government seems to take long to get people aid and people are out here standing for some time trying to get assistant. They say that it is clothes they are giving to the people. They need to have bags pack and give to people but I guess you got to stand in line. But people need the basic things around here. They do."

Andrea Polanco
"So you think that the help is taking long to come?"

Yabourough Resident
"In a sense I would say that they are taking a long time but maybe things got to work with time. Things got to be done in a certain kind of way so maybe that's the reason why they got to do things that way so we got to be patient I guess. Somewhat I am patient."

Yabourough Resident
"My uncle and I and we lose the entire house, like 3 house gone. We need some strong help and like boat, machine and everything is gone. Right now we can go work, we can't do anything so we are just asking people to contribute something to us - the Yarborough peoples. We are getting something from here. But we need shelter because we have young kids that need shelter. I am crying out to the people to reach out to the Yarborough peoples, all of us need it. We need help."

Andrea Polanco
"So you need food, clothes?"

Yabourough Resident
"Whatever that they can supply us with we will appreciate it."

Joycelyn Hunter, Hurricane Victim
"Well right now our basic is clothes and food, water..."

Andrea Polanco
"This hurricane happen Sunday night. You think they are taking too long to respond to your need?"

Joycelyn Hunter, Hurricane Victim
"So far the only person that came back here to help us is the water people, but they promise us that we might not get the water today - Bowen and Bowen, they say they will come tomorrow but in the line of food and other stuff we have got anything. We lose bed, we lose everything completely."

And while Andrea Polanco was at the community center - Monica Bodden was in the heart of the Yabra Community. As we showed you on Monday that community was banged and blown through by the raging winds, and besieged by the epic storm surge of Hurricane Richard.

Today, 72 hours after the storm made landfall - electricity had been restored but there wasn't much else to talk about, except desperate need and mounting impatience which were in abundant supply:..

Monica Bodden
"Ms. Joycelyn I mean tell me? you get any support from this area after the hurricane."

Joycelyn Hunter, Hurricane Victim
"None, the only person who come through this morning was Bowen and Bowen came and ask if we need water, but they say that they were not sure if they would come back this afternoon, but definitely tomorrow to bring water. But apart from that nobody else from nowhere come to assist us."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me how hard it has been. You told me earlier that you didn't have any food for your daughter and yourself."

Joycelyn Hunter, Hurricane Victim
"Well I just sit down and I take it how it I could handle it. This morning my neighbor got up and watch my daughter and she told her that what she have she will share, she said that she can't share for both of us. It doesn't matter as long as my child eats. I am a strong person and I will forever be a strong person because God is there for me. But to watch my little girl here not having anything to eat, it's hard."

Monica Bodden
"You think honesty that more help needed in this area?"

Hatim Abdula, Hurricane Victim
"Much more help we need lot of help because I think that Port Loyola is the area that got the most damage out of all and then they just left it half done. Because now we have to still fix up the streets when the government should have already come and do good job of fixing the street."

Monica Bodden
"Your neighbors; you notice if anyone is getting assistance? I see right behind you houses that got broke down."

Adel Abdula, Hurricane Victim
"When they come they come sometime and just ask and then they go, so they miss some neighbors, because some neighbors have to go and get food for them. When they come back they say that they are sorry they didn't catch them. That is how it goes like in and out, like bo peep."

Monica Bodden "You lost everything?"

Joycelyn Hunter, Hurricane Victim
"Everything, see the mattress and things out there with mud, stove, TV, chair and table, everything not even clothes. Everything is in there wet up from top to bottom, shoes everything."

Monica Bodden
"How hard has it been for you baby?"

Joycelyn Hunter, Daughter - Hurricane Victim
"Bad."

Monica Bodden
"You lose everything?"

Joycelyn Hunter, Daughter - Hurricane Victim
"Yes ma'am."

Hurricane Victim "So far for me I don't see they are doing anything yet because people are still suffering and every minute different people come and ask you questions but you are not getting any assistance. They just come to ask all kind of questions, but they are not giving anything because nobody is getting help. People back here really need help because as you can see the place is mess up, if it wasn't for us who try to clean up, we would know what would happen to us."

Monica Bodden
"People come ask you what you need and get your name and so forth?"

Hurricane Victim
"Yeah we don't see anyone giving us anything. They just ask you what you need; you need water; we will come and get if for you, but we don't see anybody."

And with all that, what can you do to help? Well the Red Cross launched its drive today - and the city council also outlined its action plan for response - we'll have both of those later on in the news - but we stress that for those affected communities help cannot come soon enough.

Channel 7


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#391225 - 10/28/10 09:11 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

HURRICANE RECOVERY AND RELIEF SHIFTS INTO FULL GEAR

The Belize City Emergency Management Organization is conducting a clothes drive to assist families affected by Hurricane Richard. Members of the public who have not been affected by the hurricane is being asked to contribute clothing, footwear, bedding, canned goods and other necessities. The Belize City Council in collaboration with the Human Development Department, the Belize Red Cross and Salvation Army will be distributing all donations to those City residents in need. To further assist the needy, the Belize City Council in conjunction with SMART is organizing a special Concert in the Park/Hurricane Relief Drive on Saturday at the Battlefield Park from 10:00am to 2:00pm. To assist with the hurricane relief drive the general public is asked to donate clothing and canned goods. In addition organizers will be providing burgers and hotdogs to people who were directly affected by the hurricane. Entertainment will be provided by Kenny Gladden and the New Creation Band. The Belize Diabetes Association and Belize Cancer Society will also be present to educate the public about these diseases. Donors can take their contributions to City Hall on North Front Street during normal working hours or at the Battlefield Park on Saturday.

LOVEFM


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#391291 - 10/29/10 08:56 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Hurricane Richard spares San Pedro; estimated damage to mainland $33 Million

Hurricane Richard was the 17th named storm and the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Richard developed from an area of low pressure that stalled in the Caribbean Sea in mid-October. It slowly organized and was declared a tropical storm and given the name Richard on October 20th 2010.

The Government of Belize (GOB) issued its first warning of the threat of Richard on October 22nd with a tropical storm watch issued for the entire east coast of the country. As Richard was rapidly intensifying the tropical storm-watch was replaced with a tropical storm warning, which was shortly upgraded to a hurricane warning on October 23rd. At around 5:40pm on October 24th, Hurricane Richard made landfall about 20 miles south-southeast of Belize City at peak intensity with wind gusts of about 90-100mph.

Initial findings from a damage assessment by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) showed damages to over 150 homes and preliminary figures of around 3.6 million dollars in loss. Shelters across the country saw over four thousand people flocking to their doors. The Citrus industry is reported to have taken a great loss as a result of this hurricane. While most trees remained standing, all the fruits were knocked off the trees.

In a press release issued by Belize Electricity (BEL), they confirmed that Tropical Storm Richard left much of the nation without power. The Company conducted a damage assessment earlier on Monday morning October 25th had commenced restoration works to provide power supply to areas affected by power outages.

The hurricane caused downed power lines and damaged utility poles in several parts of the Belize and the Cayo Districts. The northern parts of the country remained unaffected by Hurricane Richard.

As the storm set in along the shores; waves rose to about 5ft, beyond the reef about 15ft with maximum sustained winds of 42 mph.

While San Pedro and Caye Caulker did not receive a direct hit from Hurricane Richard, some damages were experienced. San Pedro Town Emergency Operating Committee was officially activated on October 23rd, 2010 after receiving information from NEMO headquarters in Belmopan. The three major water taxis were notified of the situation and asked to be on standby in the event that a necessity to evacuate arose. The Emergency Operating Center was manned by The Belize Coast Guard, Belize Defense Force, Police officers, Deputy Mayor, volunteers, Public Officers and the District Emergency Coordinator.

According to a report coming out of NEMO San Pedro/Caye Caulker, there were several flooding reports in the Reef Village area, however nothing life threatening. Voluntary evacuation was strongly encouraged and The Belize Coast Guard and Fisheries Department vessels were used to assist people with severe financial difficulties. The total number of evacuees was well over one thousand people. Most people evacuated to various parts of the country with relatives.

Given the projected path of Hurricane Richard and wind speed accompanied by it, three buildings were opened to accommodate residents of Caye Caulker and San Pedro fearing that their place of residence would not withstand the winds associated with the Hurricane. Two shelters were opened in San Pedro, the San Pedro High School and Shalom Church, and one in Caye Caulker; in Caye Caulker the Assembly of God Church was building was utilized as shelter. The combined number of occupants in all three shelters during the hurricane amounted to 134.

According to District Emergency Coordinator, Ms. Jeromey Timrose, the San Pedro Town/Caye Caulker Emergency Operating Committee members should be commended for a job well done. All the exercises and preparations paid off. Chairperson and members of the EOC took on their roles and demonstrated responsibility and dedication.

In addition Ms. Timrose expresses her sincere thanks to the following: members of the San Pedro Town/Caye Caulker EOC Members, the Public Officers who responded to the call and needs of the community during Hurricane Richard, special thanks also to the Area Representative and EOC Chairperson, Hon. Manuel Heredia for his dedication and support to all members of the EOC; Mr. Alberto Villanueva, Caye Caulker EOC Chairman and Village Council and his team; Caye Coffee Owners Paul and Sara for keeping EOC members all awake with Caye Coffee.



San Pedro Sun


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#391295 - 10/29/10 09:05 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Yabra Residents Living In Tents

Hurricane Richard hit 96 hours ago - and our teams on the ground are reporting tonight that relief supplies are beginning to flow in to one community we've stayed very close to and that is the Yabra area.

But, don't get us wrong, this is no magic wand solution - from even before the storm this was a desperately marginalized community and when Richard tore through the area it was like laying bare the social equivalent of a can of worms.

And so even though help is starting to come in - the problems persist and the story is about when poverty and natural disaster combine to create desperation. I found out how bad it's gotten for three men who are now living in tents:…

Two days ago we introduced you to these three men who lost everything when the storm destroyed the seaside shacks they called home.

They have gone from homeless to living in tents…

Emilio Rivera, living in a tent
"This is what I am living in right now and the little things that I save is in there, nothing else I don't have."

Their few possessions collected nearby - This is where spartan meets subhuman. And there's no relief in sight for these gentlemen because the place they called home was in the middle of a street:

Terry Andrewin, living in a tent
"We were asking the people for help. Some people from the ministry of health came here and they say that they will help us build a house. They took down our names, they came back and told us that they can't help us because we live on the street and that we have to move from here. They are telling us to move but we don't have anywhere else to rest our head right now. We were saying that if they didn't want to help us, we would go ahead and build up back our house, but now they don't want us to build our house, they want us to move from here because they are telling us that this is a street. We don't know what to tell them about that now."

Monica Bodden
"How long have you been living here?"

Terry Andrewin, living in a tent
"I live here for 4 years and my cousin is living here for 13 years."

Monica Bodden
"And you never had problems with anybody telling you...."

Emilio Rivera, living in a tent
"No kind of problems. I live here like 13 years ago and from since I build here nobody; no ministers come here to tell me about here being a street. They say that they don't mind building house but that they can't build it here. But we don't have any other land to build a house."

And while that is a long term problem, in the short term, how do they manage living in a tent?

Monica Bodden
"Walk me through your night here. I don't even see a sheet to cover."

Emilio Rivera, living in a tent
"Well that is how we have to do it right now."

Monica Bodden
"You sleep on the bare ground?"

Terry Andrewin, living in a tent
"We barely sleep sometime at night because when the dog barks we have to peep out to see what is happening. From the weather came we are trying to work and we barely rest to try and put up back our house. Now they don't want us to put up back our house. What do they want us to do?"

And that's the thing these men say they don't have many alternatives

Emilio Rivera, living in a tent
"Now they are looking to put me back in the streets. They want me to live back the life that I once lived because if I go back in the streets and I don't have a house to live what will I have to do? I will have to live the street life like how all rude boy normally live it."

Terry Andrewin, living in a tent
"It's like what he is saying we were never any good person in society but we are trying to change our life to make an effort in our lives to stay out of trouble and with our house destroy we don't have anywhere to stay, and they want to put us back on the streets. It is just hard and rough for us but we are trying our best to stand up but if they want us here then where are we to go?"

They say they want somewhere to live:

Emilio Rivera, living in a tent
"We are Belizean and we are not animals, we are human beings like everybody else, we deserve a piece of land. If they say that we cant live here then they are the government, they have rights to say that they will put you somewhere else and let us to settle there."

And everywhere we turned there were hard luck stories like that - probably none quite as sad as Joshua who has hydro-encephalitis - known as water head -he showed us he could count to ten in English and Spanish.

Joshua
"4,5,6,7,8,...10. Siete, ocho, nieve..diez."

I took him for a walk - but that is only one bright spot in a day - it's when the night comes that this child sleeps with his family in this cluttered, congested space still flooded with black water.

Their yard still over-run with muck and water.

The situation is even worse for Imogene Trapp who weathered the storm in Gales Point and came back to find only her floor intact:

Monica Bodden
"You had no idea when you heard about this hurricane. You were in Gales Point, you were trap? What was the situation?"

Imogene Trapp
"I got trap, I couldn't come home because there were no transportation. Just yesterday morning I came home. When I came home this is what I met. Everything just gone for me."

Monica Bodden
"You didn't meet anything? Just these broken up....."

Imogene Trapp
"No bed or nothing we didn't find, just a flooring right there. Nothing didn't save."

Monica Bodden
"So where the floor is that was your house?"

Imogene Trapp
(noddded head)

Monica Bodden
"So what was your first reaction when you came back and see this?"

Imogene Trapp
"I just bawl out because I don't left with anything, everything just gone."

Monica Bodden
"Where do you go from here?"

Imogene Trapp
"I don't know. From yesterday I am just stressed out and I don't know what to do, I don't know where to go."

Monica Bodden
"You have a six year old son?"

Imogene Trapp
"Yes. He lost everything for school. Nothing he didn't left with, school bag, tennis and everything gone for him too."

And help is coming in - today we saw a supply truck coming in an ordered, regimented distribution of relief supplies. With records diligently kept the follow up to needs assessment visits made earlier in the week - and storm-affected families left with sacks of supplies slung over their shoulders.

Also on Faber's Road, we saw the department of human services and UNICEF were delivering food parcels and sleeping mats to families - and all the families signed that they had received something.

Chicken was being prepared for cooking at the yabra community center - but help can't come soon enough for these folks…

Channel 7


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#391297 - 10/29/10 09:06 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

But Help Is Coming

So, yes, relief is going out….but as you saw in that story, a critical need continues to be housing…. The Ministry of Works is responsible dealing directly with the residents of the city whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Richard. Contractors were hired to start work immediately, and today as a testament to that statement, we saw a six man team on Faber's Road repairing one of those badly damaged houses:

Devon Myers, Local Contractor
"He assign us to do some of these assessment that the weather really affect in the Belize so the immediate effect to any house roof or wall that the weather blow apart we are here to fix back. But today we will try to finish the roof and make sure this is complete so that the lady could have her life back to normal. If you notice we tore down all the rest of hardboard due to the water damage and stuff, even termites we found in the roof so hopefully we try finish everything today. Hopefully we work Saturday and Sunday, no rest for us right now it is all day working from sunrise to sundown. We already have another job that we are looking on so as soon as we finish this we will go to the other job. We just want to get back the city on top of things because people need their house."

Andrea Polanco
"You guys starting working on the house depending on how badly damage they are?"

Devon Myers, Local Contractor
"Yes ma'am and this was one of the first due to the roof damage. There were big holes that you could have seen the sun shining through this roof. Hopefully when you come back no sun will be burning us anymore and rain will not wet anymore in this area. The number priority is the roof then the interior afterwards, then the verandah; the verandah comes under roof too because it is where they stay to breeze out and relax. after we finish with the roof we will get to the interior work inside and that is pretty much in 1 day too so the roof will be completed today and hopefully tomorrow the interior with the hardboard complete. My workmen and I will make sure that we do the right thing to do the job the right way because we are not just building but we want to do it the right way so the people could see the quality of what they are getting. We are not just working for work sake, we are giving people the best quality of job that we could too."

For the city residents who will be unable to stay in their homes while it's being repaired or are at this time displaced because they lost their homes, a sum of three hundred dollars will be given per month to help them to get a place to stay. If you need further information on this you can visit the office at the corner of Kut and Euphrates Avenues or call 2070459.

Channel 7


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#391302 - 10/29/10 09:10 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Belmopan Was Battered Too

Belmopan, it's that shining city on a hill that's supposed to be invulnerable to storms…well, think again - as raging Richard clobbered the capital.

Regrettably because of our own storm damages we have not been able to make it up their for our own assessment but we put this mini report together with the help of the press office and a partner with a mini camera:

In the garden city known for its verdant green areas, downed trees were everywhere, so were leaning lamp-posts and zinc lifted like sheets of paper from roofs.

On other homes the zinc was curled up while on some it was gone altogether. Even Belize house - the home of the head of state the grounds looked tossed about.

All the damage gave the area representative John Saldivar and the mayor Simeon Lopez, who are not known to get along, a chance to team up with the mayor of Benque Viejo Nick Ruiz and his team for a cleanup:

Nicholas Ruiz, Mayor of Benque Viejo
"We have our councilors, workers, the transport department is here and we have some volunteers at large from the community who just wanted to come and it just came together."

Simeon Lopez, Mayor of Belmopan
"It was a disaster, it was terrible. This clean-up will be for a long time so it will take us a long time to do this clean-up and to start to do the restoration of Belmopan."

Channel 7


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#391308 - 10/29/10 09:22 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Hurricane victim ready to overcome loss in Gales Point, Manatee

When Hurricane Richard battered the central and southern districts on Sunday, thousands were affected in some form or the other. Gales Point Manatee in southern Belize District was immediately in the eye of the storm; the hurricane force winds and rains toppled houses and uprooted foliage. Many of the residents decided to brave the storm at home and as many lost everything. Very little remains standing in the village and water and electricity are still not available. But in face of adversity, we found one man whose family is set on beating the odds. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has the remarkable story of Norman Andrewin.

Norman Andrewin, Resident, Gales Point Manatee

“I really can’t handle it out ya right but then things noh di work my way soh I noh know weh wah happen afta right.”

Isani Cayetani, Reporting

Forty-six year old Norman Andrewin is one of several displaced residents in Gales Point Manatee, a finger of land in the Belize District surrounded by the Southern Lagoon. This community is among a number of villages within the area that was severely affected by Hurricane Richard. Norman, who has lived here all his life lost everything he owned including a two-storey wooden structure he called home. His family now does the cooking outdoors using relics of their home to fuel the fire.

Norman Andrewin

Norman Andrewin

“I was right in Gales Point at the community center while the hard breeze and thing start to hit in the village and we all tried to help one another noh.”

Isani Cayetano

Isani Cayetano

“As Hurricane Richard devastated the coast of central Belize, residents of Gales Point Village despite several attempts to have them evacuated chose to weather the storm. What is left are the remnants of old wooden houses that decorated this quiet Creole community.”

Norman’s, like other residents here, is a tale of defiance in the face of the inevitable. Prior to the hurricane’s approach he was asked to leave Gales Point along with his family and friends to seek higher ground. Like James Gault he chose to stay and brave the storm.

James Gault

James Gault, Resident, Gales Point Manatee

“I wait ‘til last minute and then I went right over to Gentle there to shelter and before it was over I came back home to see what, you know, like I said ‘bout round 7:30 [or] 8:00 so we had a calm where the breeze, cause the breeze was coming from the back right and we had a calm and ‘bout for an hour and after the breeze came from the front and that da di one. The breeze from the front that did all the damage because then when the breeze finished from the back the trees neva gone down yet but when the breeze came from the front it tek dehn all down.”

The ninety mile an hour gust took quite a lot with it including Andrewin’s abode forcing him to survive out in the open. All he has is a sheet of tarp which covers two mattresses and other personal items.

Norman Andrewin

“I plan that I will tek my house down and try to put things together right and maybe I ask the government to help me on with a little bit of stuff and thing.”

Norman, says village council chairperson Katherine Dawson, joins a growing list of residents who are reliant upon the government to assist with their everyday needs. Gales Point, prior to Hurricane Richard, has been without running water despite the Social Investment Fund building a reservoir in the community.

katherine dawson

Katherine Dawson, Village Council Chairperson, Gales Point Manatee

“People pend pan di government too much. Yoh have some a dem pend pan di government too much. Everything dehn want di government do. Dehn want to sit home well dih government have to pay this, the government have to pay that and da fu dehn responsibility. So people in Gales Point might say, tell unu one part a did story and noh tell unu di other part what is really the problem.”

Adding to it is the fact that the shelter which housed many residents during the hurricane is already at its capacity leaving people like Norman homeless. Amidst that quandary however, is humanitarian aide that comes all the way from Corozal Town. The initiative shows one family’s determination to help rebuild the village one household at a time.

Arturo Rosado, Resident, Corozal Town

Arturo Rosado

“We are delivering stuff which was gathered yesterday by a radiothon which was being organized through Bay Radio. This has been delivered through the village house to house and I don’t know if I missed somebody else but we going to try do the best so that everybody gets what we bring for them.”

It will take a while for the community of Gales Point to get back on its feet but with relief efforts similar to that of the Rosado family things can return to normal quicker than expected. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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#391431 - 10/31/10 09:44 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Wider Richard Effect

We've already shown you how the storm surge smashed poor coastal communities in the city; it didn't stop there. Richard kept roaring all the way across central and Western Belize leaving a wide swath of destruction in its wake.

Here's her report:..

We left out at 8 this morning in route to a couple villages in Rural Belize - to see what conditions were like - after the passing of Hurricane Richard.

Our First stop was at Freetown Sibun.

Wilda Murillo
"Sunday night when the breeze picks up we were inside the house. My house didn't shake, just that a layer of the zinc had blown off and the water came in and everything got wet up. The Monday morning when we woke up and came outside this all what we saw; everything is just laid down all the coconuts trees, the papaya trees, custard apple trees, bread fruit trees, everything is on the ground."

Murillo and I took a tour around the area - as she showed me the multitude of coconut trees that fell during hurricane Richard.

Wilda Murillo
"This puts me back a lot, at least like 6-7 years because when the trees fell like this they die then you have to go back and plant seedling all again and wait at least 6 years before they start bearing again."

With fresh produce as their main source of income - Murillo is not the only one affected in the Village of Freetown Sibun… As you can see, their fruits and vegetables were all destroyed during the storm.

Wilda Murillo
"First of all we have to give God thanks, we have life, no casualty - no death thank God for that. We have life, we have hope, we can go again, it's just that it will take time for us to start over. Once we have faith in God he will provide for us. We just have to put our shoulder to the wheel and start all over again; planting and then just let the process takes it course."

The village was still without electricity when we visited this morning. And so too was the village of Gracie Rock - which was our next stop.

Dexter Robinson - Vice Chairman, Gracie Rock Village
"Well it is still kind of rough right now because we need a lot of attention right now. We need food, water and so forth, we need to rebuild back."

This one family lost everything during the storm. Their upstairs wooden home was blown down and smashed to pieces. Nothing much could have been saved.

Gilford Hoare - Hurricane Victim
"Well I lose totally everything, only a couple items I took out to the shelter, everything else just gone."

Monica Bodden
"Nothing didn't save?"

Gilford Hoare - Hurricane Victim
"Nothing, everything just got wet up, most of the electrical appliances that I had, I had to see what I could take out after the storm. Right now I have them in the sun drying. But clothes and everything else is wet up."

Gilford and his family were at the community shelter - weathering the storm. He said he did hear when his house fell.

Monica Bodden
"How hard it was for you to actually stand on the street side and see your house completely gone, years of work, years of putting in effort to purchase your items and within hours......"

Gilford Hoare - Hurricane Victim
"Well I had to try and take it slowly day by day, but for the first it was kind of tough. I kind a expect it after watching the amount of breeze that was coming, If it stay so long the house wouldn't fall."

Despite their circumstances - these villagers were still gracious… as we enjoyed some good ole coconut water and got prepared for a tour down the Sibun River - the other side of the village.

Monica Bodden
"We are heading up the Sibun River where will be visiting with those who have been affected by Hurricane Richard. We are here with Mr. Samuels who will be taking us up that area. Again we are still in Gracie Rock but this side of the village is not accessible by road."

While going up the river we noticed the change of color in the water - and also the current. According to the experts in the boat - it is because the river is flooded.

This one man was paddling his dorey with his water vat tied on. He had to go retrieve it from the other side of the river since it was blown away by the hurricane.

Our first stop was at the Brakeman's residence…

Esella Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"When the weather came I wasn't here, I was in Democracia Village with my daughters."

Monica Bodden
"So when you came home?"

Esella Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"I came the same morning. My son call me and tell me to come and see the place; your kitchen gone and the fruit trees are gone."

Monica Bodden
"So your stove, your fire hearth, everything just gone. It's wet up."

For Esella's sister - Barbara - her entire house was destroyed. We found her sitting inside her broken down home - still shaken and in tears.

Monica Bodden
"You are sitting in your house, you have no walls, obviously you lost everything, I see you are crying. How hard this is for you?"

Barbara Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"It's very hard because first time I experience this. First time."

Monica Bodden
"First time you ever experience something like this."

Barbara Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"The beds, the mattress, everything is gone."

She too was weathering the storm in La Democracia -

Barbara Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"My brother call me and told me to come and see my house and came and this is what I see. everything all messed up."

Monica Bodden
"What was that like for you to actually just see everything that you took so many years to put together destroyed in just hours."

Barbara Brakeman - Hurricane Victim
"Well I was very shock and surprise because I didn't think it would be like this."

For this family and many others - they are badly in need of assistance.

NEMO, the Belize Red Cross and other organizations have been giving away food packages and water in the area - but they say it's just not enough.

And while on our way back out from that side of the village - we learned a little bit of history. According to our boat captain - the village was named after a woman who lived on top of this hill… covered with rocks. Her name was Gracie. Reporting for 7 News, Monica Bodden.

And as we reported last night, while storm victims are still complaining, relief is getting out - today we saw the Red Cross in the Jane Usher Boulevard area distribution sleeping bags, food and other supplies to storm affected families.

We also saw the Department of Human Services in the area distributing sacks full of rations and cleaning supplies - with queues of residents lining up to get their portions.

Channel 7


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#391576 - 11/02/10 09:06 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Gracie Rock, another community affected by Hurricane Richard

Earlier in the newscast we told you about families in the Ladyville area that are struggling from the destruction of Hurricane Richard. Elsewhere in the Belize District, residents of Gracie Rock are still in shelters while the community of Freetown Sibun has lost their main source of income. News Five’s Marion Ali has the story of two communities struggling to get back on their feet.

Marion Ali, Reporting

It has been one week since Hurricane Richard ripped through central Belize, toppling houses and trees. Many people still find themselves living in hurricane shelters, after the storm rendered them homeless. News Five took a trip to Gracie Rock Village, a community about twenty-two miles west of Belize City, and spoke with residents who lost their entire homes.

Gilford Hoare

Gilford Hoare, Rendered Homeless by Hurricane Richard

“Dehn guys seh dat ih gone down and when I come back and give me di news dah like wah shock. Due to weh I deh amongst all that crowd, I play like nothing gone on but I really mi feel it inside.”

Marion Ali

“Have you had any kind of assistance since?”

Gilford Hoare

“Dehn just come and do measurement and take estimate, but they no give me no response on when they wah come back or when dehn wah start to do work.”

Carlton Young, Rendered Homeless by Hurricane Richard

Carlton Young

“I lost everything ina di house. I staying with my mom right now. They could just give me some material and I can help myself. I am builder right and I do carpentry work and so that’s no problem for me.”

Marion Ali

“How has the response been from NEMO?”

Samuel Brakeman

Samuel Brakeman, Hurricane Victim

“It’s kinda slow. I think they need to speed up a little bit more—ina material-wise they need to move up pan the material cause people waiting. They do assessment and they say they’ll come back but up to now, no one no one arrive as yet.”

But while patience is growing thin among those most severely affected, at the National Emergency Management Organization, the work is much more time-consuming than people can appreciate.

Judith Alpuche

Judith Alpuche, Chair, Relief and Supplies Management Committee

“We have already offered alternative housing to some families and some have outright refused believe it or not. It’s a very complex situation on the ground because a lot of people are squatting for instance and they don’t want to move because they tell us plane, if they relocate, they are going to take away our land. People believe that if they are not right there, they won’t get the construction assistance that they seek to rebuild their homes. So it’s a very complex situation. What we did was to provide people with tarps to temporarily and people in the rural areas have been very proactive in trying to put back what they can and utilizing what we gave them. So that’s a temporary fix until a more permanent construction and reconstruction can happen.”

And while NEMO is able to assist the homeless hurricane victims with a more permanent place to call home, in Freetown Sibun, the residents did not lose their dwellings, but Richard still dealt them losses that will impact their lives for years to come.

Wilda Murrillo, Resident, Free Town Sibun

“The coconut, ah mek mi income off of it. I am self-employed and I use the coconut fi extract coconut oil and dah so I make mi income.”

Marion Ali

“You lost everything?”

Wilda Murrillo

Wilda Murrillo

“Almost everything gone down.’

Marion Ali

“How are you getting by now?”

Wilda Murrillo

“Well yesterday they come in and they give we some ration by other than that we just no know how we wah get wi life back agriculture-wise.”

Marion Ali

“How long does it take to replant?”

Wilda Murrillo

“Wah coconut sibling takes five years before ih bear—that dah before you get wah drinking coconut and botu eight to nine years before you get wah dry oneto make oil. So dah wah great loss.”

Marian Conorquie, Chairperson, Freetown Sibun

Marian Conorquie

“Well, I lost all mi coconut, oranges, grapefruit, breadfruit trees because mostly that’s what we live on.”

Marion Ali

“So this has put you back how far now?”

Marian Conorquie

“Marion I can’t even tell you. It puts us a long way backwards because until everything get back in bearing again; that’s a long time.”

Marion Ali

“How are you gonna survive? Have you worked out a way yet?”

Marian Conorquie

“Well we wah try. I haven’t worked out a way because I am still confused. I am still confused but we’ll try.”

The effects of Hurricane Richard will be felt for some time. Many continue to rely on rations from NEMO and await construction supplies to rebuild their homes and their lives. But for others who rely on the nearby river for water consumption, the inconvenience is complicated due to contamination. The only use they have of the river at this time is to reach from point A to point B. Marion Ali for News Five.


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#391578 - 11/02/10 09:08 AM Re: Hurricane Richard [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Ladyville also hammered by Hurricane Richard

Hurricane Richard has come and gone. So far the devastation is more than fifty million dollars and its blast was fatal for at least two persons. For the category one hurricane on October twenty-fourth, it was more destructive than anticipated. The state of homelessness is aggravated by a sense of despair, many are crying out for help which is late in coming. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has the story of two families from nearby communities.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The Ladyville area was not immediately in the path of Hurricane Richard but still a number of families felt its wrath. Today, two families that suffered major losses in the storm told us their ordeal. Indira Morris, her common-law-husband and their five children lost their home while Sherreth Williams watched her rooftop blow away as she sheltered at a neighboring house.

Indira Morris, House Destroyed in Hurricane

“We was going to stay in the house but decided to move because somebody gave us wah little hand so we gone stay wid one ah our friends. But di next day one ah my friend text me and tell me dat our house gone down and when we check it we si di house completely bruck up, everything get destroyed.”

Sherreth Williams

Sherreth Williams, House Damaged in Hurricane

“When I reach cross everything done wet up, damaged; I can’t move nothing out ah my house. My clothes, mi TV, the chair, the kids dehn bed, my mattress dem. Dat’s all and my refridge is kinda acting up.”

Both women are in need of assistance that hasn’t been forthcoming and according to Morris she has been asking the area representative for assistance with a more stable home for months.

Indira Morris

“I lost a lot of my stuff and, as you can see, we’re over there. We don’t have any roof top, any walls, nothing; everything we lost and weh we really want dah assistance because we noh di get assistance from nobody. We call and nobody come. Every time di phone ring, ih just die off. So we need fi get wa ansa because we poor and we really need our house. I go dah Hutchy office, he noh even deh een deh. He noh even deh een deh. He tell me come such a date and when I go deh he noh deh deh. I think dat dah simpleness because he could at least give we wa ansa we deserve fi get wah ansa because weh pah he deh right now he di at and he di sleep.”

Williams, on the other hand, has only received a tarp, which she used for a makeshift roof. But when it rains, it pours inside her house.

Sherreth Williams

“I went to di minister di Monday morning and he assist me the Tuesday with two tarpaulins and it’s still not working in good order cause I still get wet in my house. When ih di rain I have to tek di broom and my son move the mattress and thing and shove the water fi empty it off ah di tarpaulins and den all di wata drop right back eena di house.”

Indira Moris

Indira Moris

“One a my friend take me in but she need her space too. I can’t expect fi live wid her fi di rest ah—she need her space and I understand that too. I really need assistance because dah right yah we di stay too. So we really need assistance and I think dehn government need fi stop di play wid people and come out and do dehn job.”

Morris’ five children and Williams’ son have been out of school since the storm.

Sherreth Williams

“Di lee bwai noh gwein back til di eight because all ah fi he thing dehn get wet up inna di house and ih tennis and things dehn get wet up. So I call di school and di school tell me next week Monday I should bring him in.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.


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