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#7120 - 10/05/00 09:52 AM MORE WIRE SERVICE STORIES
Marty Offline
Venezuela Offers Reduced-Rate Oil

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela will supply 10 Caribbean and Central
American countries with 80,000 barrels a day of oil at reduced rates by the
end of the year, President Hugo Chavez said Monday.

The so-called Energy Pact of Caracas will include Haiti, Costa Rica, Panama,
Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Honduras, Guatemala
and Belize.

Venezuela will sell crude to those countries for a price fluctuating between
$20 and $30 a barrel at a 2 percent interest rate. The countries will be
allowed a two-year grace period after which they will have 15 years to
complete the payments.

Chavez added that Venezuela is willing to accept goods and services as part
of the payment.

The heads of state of countries participating under the Energy Pact will
sign the agreement during an Oct. 19 visit to Caracas.

The 80,000 barrels a day is in addition to the same amount Venezuela already
supplies to the region under the San Jose Pact. But the pact doesn't protect
its members -- Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti,
Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic -- from high
oil prices, which have soared in recent days to levels not seen since the
1991Persian Gulf War.

Mexico supplies the other 80,000 barrels a day of the San Jose Pact.

Chavez reiterated he didn't want the Energy Pact to replace the San Jose

``This is just a separate and bilateral deal with these nations,'' he said
at a meeting with representatives of these countries.

#7121 - 10/05/00 09:53 AM Re: MORE WIRE SERVICE STORIES
Marty Offline
Hurricane Keith Rips Into Belize
Story Filed: Tuesday, October 03, 2000 3:35 AM EDT

BELIZE CITY (AP) -- Snapped power lines dangled treacherously over
water-laden streets. Aluminum roofs, peeled back like sardine-can lids by
high winds, flapped helplessly over flooded wooden homes.

Horizontal sheets of rain turned some streets into knee-deep rivers. Keith,
which was downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm late Monday, hovered
just off the Caribbean coast, pounding the capital of this small Central
American nation.

Flooding associated with Keith caused three deaths elsewhere in Central
America and at least one in Mexico.

No deaths or injuries were reported in Belize, an English-speaking country
of about 200,000 people tucked between Mexico and Guatemala. But the
country, known as British Honduras until it gained independence in 1981, by
far suffered the most damage.

More than 200 Belize citizens fled to neighboring Guatemala.

On the island of Ambergris Cay, about 12 miles off Belize's coast, two
hotels had their roofs torn off, said William Skeen, director of the Red
Cross in Belize City.

On Caye Caulker, a slip of land 10 miles south of Ambergris, local radio
stations reported that 40 wooden homes had blown over. And radio FM-LOVE
broadcast a steady stream of building damage reports in Belize City.

The U.S. government issued a travel warning to Americans in Belize because
of extensive flooding. U.S. government employees in non-emergency jobs were
moved out.

On its Web site, the Peace Corps said all its volunteers were safe.

``I'm just going to rough it out,'' said Pat Manzo, a 44-year-old
Providence, R.I., resident who came to Belize City last Friday to scout out
land for schools to be constructed by his church.

The storm, whose 75 mph winds had diminished to 65 mph early Tuesday, forced
some residents out of their homes and into shelters. Others moved onto top
floors to escape flooding caused by more than a dozen inches of rain that
had fallen since Sunday.

Bent over in raincoats, their umbrellas flipped inside-out, residents
slogged through the streets, their legs smacked by the waves generated from
passing cars.

``At this point, all we can do is pray,'' said 42-year-old Ralph Barrow,
pushing his bike through knee-deep water in downtown Belize City.

Barrow, whose wife looked on from a second-story balcony of their modest
wooden home, fought his way through heavy winds and driving rains in search
of a food store.

He joined scores of other yellow-slickered residents making their way to the
city's few open shops hoping to find bread, milk, and water.

In another part of the city, while cars queued up for fuel at a busy gas
station, high winds ripped off the roof of a closed station next door and
slammed it to the ground.

Rising waters lapped over the tops of above-ground tombs at a cemetery on
the city's edge and turned fields along the highway leading into the center
of the capital into white-capped lakes.

``I don't like these storms,'' said 25-year-old David McKenzie, who braved a
20-minute walk across the wind-battered city to check on his girlfriends'
parents. ``You have to be alert at every moment. I just want to know how
long this is going to last.''

Others who say they have long been accustomed to fickle Caribbean storms
were taking Hurricane Keith in stride.

``This is just a little rough weather,'' said 38-year-old Ellsworth Jenkins,
a lifelong resident. ``I'm going to just take it as it comes.''

#7122 - 10/05/00 09:53 AM Re: MORE WIRE SERVICE STORIES
Marty Offline
Salvation Army Provides Relief In Wake Of Hurricane Keith
Story Filed: Wednesday, October 04, 2000 4:03 PM EST

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by
the Salvation Army:

After alerts over the weekend, Hurricane Keith now sits 30 miles to the
north of Belize City. On Sunday night -- Monday morning, extensive damage
was done in the uprooting of trees and the closure of Belize City Airport,
the main air artery for Belize.

The city is under 3 feet of water, making conventional vehicles useless.
Electricity is cut to the city and many homes; the older homes in the city
have suffered the collapse of their roofs due to high winds and rain gusting
at 80mph through the low lying town center.

The Salvation Army has deployed the Central Corps as part of the emergency
planning strategy, and about 170 people are being sheltered, given a change
of clothing and fed during the ferocious weather. The Raymond Parkes
Shelter, a dwelling for homeless people has also been pressed into service
to cope with the people at risk. The police are assisting in the control of
people being allowed into the buildings.

Dangriga, further south of Belize City, has also been badly hit, but worst
hit of all was Cay Cacao, where only 10 houses are left standing on this
island community, still cut off at present. Waves 12 feet high are pounding
the island community and until outside assistance by plane or boat arrives,
no one will know the exact situation there.

Inland the Guatemalan authorities have opened the border around San Ignacio
to allow families to escape the fierce weather threatening their lives and
livelihood. Initial reports indicate Ambergrise Cay has severe to heavy
damage from hurricane Keith's impact yesterday. Cay Caulker Island residents
are in desperate need of food. Chetumal Bay, due to barometric pressure, is
completely devoid of water and residents of that area are urged to flee
before the tidewater returns, potentially devastating the area. Sand Creek,
near the Sittee River, is expected to flood soon, because of heavy rains.

The Salvation Army's regional commander and his forces will assist in
helping those worst hit by the hurricane once it is possible to do so. In
the meantime, they are providing shelter as needed to those driven out of
their homes.

Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) has been running an
Emergency Health and Welfare Network since the evening of Sunday, Oct. 1,
2000 in support of victims and responders to the Hurricane Keith Disaster
currently impacting the Yucatan Peninsula/Belize area. This network will
remain in operation until the emergency is over. Anyone needing information
regarding loved ones in the area should access the following URL. http://www.qso.com/satern. The information will be automatically forwarded
to a SATERN team headed by Quent Nelson processing via the Internet and HF
amateur radio talking to the affected area.

SATERN's operation began as a result of its relationship with the National
Hurricane Watch Net. This amateur network monitors and reports hurricane
disposition to the National Hurricane Center in Miami maintains a vigil and
alerts The Salvation Army when its services are needed. The National
Hurricane Watch Center is referring persons to The Salvation Army for Health
and Welfare assistance. SATERN has processed 120 inquiries since the
operation began. The SATERN operation continues to run its network 12 hours
per day, assisted by amateurs operating on battery power from the affected
area, and a host of other amateurs and amateur organizations in support of

The Salvation Army is recognized for its international disaster
communications response by the community and by emergency entities for
incorporating its amateur radio network SATERN.

#7123 - 10/05/00 01:34 PM Re: MORE WIRE SERVICE STORIES
Marty Offline


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