Reliable reports reaching us indicate that the Tuesday, June 4, 2013, planned testing of BECOL's early warning system, in the event of a dam break, failed.

The rather embarrassing incident reportedly occurred in the presence of representatives from the National Emergency Management Organization and from the Department of the Environment, both legally charged with overseeing such exercises.

The system at San Ignacio fire station failed as well as the one located at Black Rock Resort. The siren was to have blasted seven times for three consecutive minutes at three minute internals non of which reportedly occurred.

The failure now begs the question. Is BECOL really prepared to issue the relevant warning in the event of a dam break, or will residences in the destructive path of the dam feel before they hear the warning?

Residence in the areas that can be affected in the event of a dam break are requesting for BECOL to get the system up and running properly as soon as possible as the testing and properly functioning of the system is essential for public safety especially during the hurricane season."

This was in this week's Star - from Candy Gonzalez

this response from a friend....

i have tried to hear it when i was told that the warning was being tested, from my farm about 1.2 m up the cristo rey rd, west side of road (east side of macal). i have heard it once, when really trying.... i figured it was mainly aimed at higher pop density areas, such as cristo rey village, and san ignacio, which will be in big trouble.. having seen the down town flooded 3 times over 40 yrs, it was a mess then, water 4 to 6 ft inside belize bank (formerly royal bank in at least one of the floods, they used to rotate which bank would service san ig ).

well, good thing it was a warning and not the real deal, maybe they will attend to it and repair the warning.