Hurricane Mitch- Afterwards

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10/26 Reports
10/27 Reports
10/28 Reports
10/29 Reports
10/30 Reports
10/31- 11/2
11/3- Current
Relief Efforts
People Locator

Its lookin a lot better for San Pedro. People are home, and several days of cleanup has started. If you have information to add, please click here. I am able to be telephoned at USA 541-686-0277 or 541-686-9209.
We are getting contributions from folks all over, but I would like to give special thanks to Jorge Varela, Julian Rivero, Susan Garcia, Ray Auxillou, Niesje Province, Hamaruba, all those on the BZ-Culture list at bz-culture@psg.com, Janet Abernathy, Carl Rupke, both Vidrine's, Larry Grider, all those I bugged on the island with phone calls, Alan Forman and the staff at Coral Beach, Helen and Woody, Phil their son, Chris Berlin, Chris Allnatt, Juan Azueta contributed mightily through Wendy ... the caring, concerned population of Belizeans who do not live in the country, (there's a bunch in LA!), so many people pitched in... Gracias.


Tropic Air is a full schedule. Hotels are mostly open.

The Deputy Prime Minister is asking that Tourists follow through with their plans to visit the country.

It would be a good idea for hotels, airlines, and tour companies to contact their guests and inform them that the damages are  NOT SEVERE  and that they should follow through with their travel plans.


Dangriga
Thank you for your concern for our safety. This is just a quick note to let you know that we are back and running at 100% with only very minor damage to buildings and other structures. The sun is shining brightly and the sea calm, making it hard to believe that only a few days ago we were scared for our lives!

In the interest of safety we packed up and evacuated by the end of last Tuesday - so no telephones, faxes or emails were being answered. Some of the guys stayed around for security intending to move to higher ground if the hurricane approached, fortunately, they never had to. Other than abnormally high tides which had Pelican Beach looking like an island for a few days, all is well.

South Water Caye also had minimal building damage - the steps of the Heron's Hideaway washed away. There has also been some re-distribution of beach on the island. Therese and a crew are on their way out today to clean up. Junior already has his staff back out there with radio communication and the solar running again. The freezer is cold enough for beer!

The construction of the new Smithsonian Institution lab at Carrie Bow fared well. No equipment or materials were lost and the construction crew will be back out on the job on Tuesday, hopefully with only a week delay in the buildings completion.

The highways are all passable with access to Cockscomb and all major attractions.

Reports from other parts of Belize are primarily about lost docks on the islands but all hotels are back up and running, so there is no need to cancel or postpone any of your travel plans.

Again, thank you for checking on us. Please say a prayer and give what you can to the poor people of Honduras and Nicaragua and who bore the brunt of Hurricane Mitch and have suffered terrible loss of life, property and crop damage.
Therese Rath
Naturalight Productions


I've been busy cleaning up since I arrived and haven't been checking email. However from the look of things here on the ground, we will all be fine. Stores have reopened, hotels, have reopened , and I even saw several tourists.

It seems that everyone is in acordance with the sending of relief to Honduras.
Jorge


Caribbean Villas
Wil Lala returned to the hotel on Friday, Oct 30th. There was no dammage to the hotel and we have a newly fashioned beach. Wil says it looks great!

Phones, eletricity and water all okay. First post Mitch guests checked in yesterday.
Susan


www.honduras.com has established a relief fund for aid to hurricane-ravaged honduran communities. You can donate using your credit card and a secure web site right from there. The fund is administered by a firm in Honduras. I don't know anything about them but its being audited by Price Waterhouse.
Susan Guberman-Garcia

My mom and dad, the Bun Man business, are open and running there in San pedro!!
Warm regards, Carolyn Kolhoff

This nightmare that has occurred to our neighbours in Central America should be a wake up call to Belize. We've all tracked this storm, thanks to the technology available to us today, but I have some observations regarding the coverage and the media. The current methods of forcasting the path of Hurricanes are good, but not accurate,therefore, please rely on your traditional methods and do not rely on mass media. Most of the reports had speculated that this storm would hit Cancun, even after it was clear that it was not heading North. Whether this may have caused the people south of Belize to relax a bit, I'm not sure, but we must ensure that everyone, repeat everyone is warned ahead of time. I can only imagine what would have hapened to Belize, if Mitch had proceeded on it's planned course. If there is no plan on the books (even after Hattie), then its time to prepare one.
Steve Haylock

I was very recently in San Pedro Town and ran from "Mitch" on a sail boat with the owner of TMM Charter. I was with my husband (Dick) and my son Ben. We sailed to the New River and stayed there for two days. We then traveled to a "Landing" I'm sorry but I can't remember the name of the town. We were taken to Chetumal where we were the last three people allowed to cross the Boarder into Mexico.

From there we took a bus to Can Cun and we were able to fly home four days after leaving San Pedro. I'm very concerned about several people we met while we were there. If you have any information regarding "Paul" (owner of TMM Charter) and his family, Tar Baby & family, Ralston, Israel, Halfinch, or anyone who was on one of the boats in our group please let me know. We are especially grateful to "Henry" who drove us to safety from the river.
God Bless all,
Frances, Dick & Ben Tyner


Caye Caulker, Monday
Well good news! Tina is at the Caye, Caye Caulker that is. She is calling for all the girls to return and start the cleanup. The water level is still high and 90% of my lot is under water still with wave action. The water is lapping at the front door of Dianes new construction and Tina's house. Tina got a lot of sand in front of her door all piled up. But the water is right there too. The water of course did go through the down floor. Same with Diane. Ilna's house, the cement one, was also washed through. Left behind two feet of sand inside, the door broken open and water lapping at the door. Not sure how much of the lot we have lost to sea erosion, which will have to be replaced. Quite a substantial amount. Right now corner lot posts are about 80 ft out in the sea for me right now. Tina said, she thought the sea was still high though and might recede in a week. Then we shall see what we have to replace.

None of the buildings got knocked down though. Damage, but not knocked down.

Big worry right now is how to find plane tickets for 10 grandchildren and a neighbors kid and two adults to go back down to Belize. Diane had her return tickets taken over in Houston by the American Airlines clerk. Not sure if it was an error, or what? Trying to fix it today. Wendy came up on the Embassy flight with 4 kids. So, finding the money for all those is a burden. However, they are alive and if that monster of a tornado Hurricane had hit shore, definitely Belize City, Ladyville and the airport area, everybody would be dead. Villagers are all banded together right now in groups and trying to clear the debris from the streets. Front Street is the major problem, so people can pass. Beach Street which the tourists like to walk along on the edge of the water, is now well way out under the sea. Getting that back is a job for the Public Works Dept. of the Belize District.

Considerable amounts of BDF and police are at the Caye, to patrol and stop looting of vacant houses. Despite that, six breakins reported last night. The gossip from villagers is, that they suspect the same BDF personell. The villagers do not feel comfortable at the best of times, with so many mainlanders around the community. They not having any investment in the place and economy. Looting however, despite the massive presence of military is still going on.

Curfew is in effect. That is the latest from this morning. Hoping to get everybody out by Wednesday, if we can patch together the money for tickets and get space. Wendy's home, the trailer is completely over water, though still on posts with the sea lapping at the bottom. The sea I hope is abnormally high, because otherwise, the sea is now around 90 feet from last high water mark into the beach lots.


I guess we've all learned an important lesson on the vital role that communications plays in a disaster. We were lucky that (1) We were able to create a 24 hour "hurricane central;" (2) that the bz-culture list was so active and so international in character; (3) that the hurricane only skirted the edges of Belize, thereby saving phone lines and email connectivity within Belize at least part of the time, so that info could be passed around. But what if it had been different? I hope that every Belizean on this list prods the GOB into taking prompt action to develop a communications plan that will be in place by the time next year's hurricane season begins. I hope the government puts together a task force, with nongovernmental as well as governmental participation, with a short timeline (like 60 days) to come up with a concrete plan that will put in place a layered system composed of various telecommunications modalities (internet, wireless/satellite, POTS, shortwave radio, etc.) that will extend to the remotest parts of Belize.

Every village, town and segment of a suburban and urban community needs to be equipped with at least one connection point of each type, and there should be links to the outside world set up in advance, with a network of correspondents both inside and outside Belize who will go to work to staff this network in time of need. Maybe the recent hurricane will be the impetus needed (as all the economic and social arguments against the telecommuniations monopoly system seem to have fallen on deaf ears) to make the GOB realize that it has to choose between protecting the monopoly and controlling access to telecommunications in the name of profit to a few and what could be the literal survival of the country. Once the plan is put together, I am sure that there are many of us outside of Belize who will be happy to fund raise and donate to make sure that the necessary equipment is available to the poorest rural communities. Maybe Patty Arceo would be willing to be the government's chair of such a committee? As an example of what happens when information is delayed: We have just learned that nearly 2,000 people were killed by a giant mudslide in Nicaragua. It took over a day for the severity of this catastrophe to become known. Time is literally the difference between life and death in a major natural disaster and having nationwide communications that will function in a crisis can make a big difference.

A few hours time to prepare for an unrushing hurricane can make a difference.
Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law


Blue Marlin Lodge
Any word on the Blue Marlin on South Water Caye?? Bill     WVolm@aol.com

Just talking to Lucile of Travelers Inn in Placencia. There is absolutely no damage of any kind there. Business as usual. All restaurants, hotels, shops and stores are open. Phone, lights, plenty food and water. Everything is open. Maybe we should be directing tourists in that direction for the duration?? Peter

Tropica Beach Resort has had no damage to property,swimming beach, rooms, swimming pool, deck, restaurant, bar, out buildings or pier. All is in order Thank You Lord,
Nervous Greg , owner

Lily's Hotel
Hi! We are still without power because of the damage done to the electric pole by the dive shops and docks washed up on our beach. Please be patient, we will be online as soon as power is restored and will answer all email inquiries. Power should be restored on Monday, we're told. Our rooms are all intact. Our verandah got about a foot of sand. We should have the restaurant cleaned up in about a day or so more.

Thanks to all for your prayers and concern.
Felipe Paz Jr.


Jungle Report, Sunday
Well, yesterday (Sat.) was more wind & waves - lots of each. First thing I see when I do a damage patrol is my vat listing left. Next, my water pump is in direct danger of drowning. Of course, the slab to my stairs was starting to wash out on Friday so that is old news; new news is that it hasn't washed out (yet) so I can still get into my house without a rope & grapple. The waves continue to dump water and the sand from the front of my beach to the back of the property. The back of the property looks pretty good - I was planning on filling that in with sand when I got some time(haha) but I would have chosen to do it a bit differently than Mitch. Talked w/ Bob & he said his stairs in front of his house may go but the important stuff, the Tiki bar housing the beer, was doing good, no problem with erosion. I wasn't able to pass all this great adventure on to you yesterday as I was busy rescuing my water pump & building a breakwall in front of it, stuffing palmento sticks around my steps and the one restaurant pillar that had the foot exposed, and diverting the new river we had along the side of our restaurant vat. We considered washing out the high side of our house vat so it would possible level out but discovered a tremendous palm tree stump is holding it up. Thinking about stuffing a big-ass tire tube under the low side & then putting the air to it to raise the vat. Then we'll fill in the hole (any better idea?). Our guests had their real 1st day of cabin fever. It was too windy & misty to do much anything but read & sleep, which is what they did except... we braved the seas and made a trip over to Monkey River Village. People were carring their bedding from the hurricane shelter back to their houses. Some standing water in the heart of village but the coast line is a different story. David Lanaires lost his house to the sea, Eloy's is still in much danger, as well as Helen's (the lady that has the grocery store). Helen's will go first. Saw Matt & Roxy's house. Not good. In the front their are some pillars that are no longer touching the floor joists - just swaying in the breeze. The waves were spraying up to the deck around the house (2nd story). Mike & Jan's house will hold out if no more severe weather comes our way. The palmento fence that Mike put around the front (in the water) & along side is what saved it. He must have that palmento down 6'!!

Today, Sunday, I got up and watched a beautiful sunrise. The seas are back down although the tide is still high. No waves lapping away my beach. Seas are a bit choppy but not bad. I was able to walk to the restaurant without getting slammed by a wave. Percy came by about 7am & said he could do a river trip for Pete & Beth and I dang near mutulated myself tripping down the steps & rushing over to their cabana with a pot of coffee & the good news. Beth is a feature editor for the Beaumont Enterprise & Pete is their photographer. They came for a nice quiet vacation but found Mitch. They insisted on hanging in here with us through the whole thing. They were due to leave yesterday but we offered to extended their stay in hope for a day like today. Looks like they may consider heading back to States on Wed.. They cam back from the river trip & said "the jungle was alive". Monkeys, birds, iguanas, crocodiles,etc.. All are celebrating the beautiful day. Now, have you ever seen the root system of an almond tree or palm tree. Absolutely amazing. The little bit of stump that was just at the surface of the sand is now totally exposed - all 5' of it. Although it is interesting to see I would have prefered to have seen a picture, not live in my front beach! The palmento & concrete blocks saved my slab holding my steps to the house but they do have a bit of a lean. (A bit of rum & I'll never notice) The house vat is still standing (& leaning) and if we don't get anymore severe waves it should be o.k.. Bob's`Paradise is in good shape and Bob still has a few beers so he's doing fine as well. Pete & Beth have gone out to catch dinner so now's a good time for me to have a little siesta. More later ......
JL


In case there are any Paradise Villas owners, guests, etc. on the net: I spoke to Nellie Gomez a little while ago. Everything is OK. No interior damage has been reported to date. City water is not turned on yet. Cisterns should be full, though. There is a combination of salt and fresh water in the pool, and some grass debris, but it should be all cleaned up by tomorrow. The flowers in the garden are still there. The front fence (composed of dwarf palms) is damaged but those can be re-planted. The local cats have been spotted and seem to be OK. The beach next to Paradise Hotel is very wet and soft and not ready to be walked on yet.

Holiday Hotel, 2:30pm
Just had our computer connected a few minutes ago. We have a lot to thank God for. We lost our pier, dive shop and part of our beach. No damages to the hotel, bar, restaurant, deli nor boutique. We have about three days of work to have the beach looking better.
Regards, Kim

Green Parrot... phone.. email.. send word Love, Stuart,Erica,Rachael,Graham, Justin
Stuart Corns (Jr)

Hi, This is Lori Reed from Changes In Latitudes B & B San Pedro. I am in Florida and can be reached at 941-859-4045. I will return on Nov. 6th and be open for business on Nov. 7th. Have a friend staying at my place right now (Peter Eltringham) who will act as host to any guests arriving prior to the 7th.

Muchas gracias to the brave gringos and San Pedranos who stayed to watch over La Isla Bonita! -suffering Belikin withdrawal!
Lori


I spoke to Jeff Sersland who is in charge of St. Matthews and no damage at all. The sand covered there fence which originally was 3 feet from the ground and some water got in about 25 feet into the property but nothing else.

The Seven Seas and all surrounding area got as much as 3 feet of water and minor flooding damages only.

The cleaning up has begun and it is comforting to see everyone working together once again.

Annie and I took a long 3 hours stroll yesterday to access damages.
Julian


The rivers in the west peaked last night, and by early morning today sunday, are droping rapidly.The western highway at Roaring Creek had 3ft of water last night, and 18ins this morning.

San Pedro
Paradise Resort Hotel got a bit of water damage, but nothing serious. All 3 docks in front of the hotel are gone. The hotel will be fine after a clean up, perhaps fully operational in less than a week.

Blue Hole Diving: Blue Hole Dive Center will be fully operational within 1 week, but we would like to do a check on the dive sites at Lighthouse Reef especially as that area was 55 miles closer to the storm than we were and must have taken some big waves. It will take a few more days for unusual currents to die down and viz. to get back to it's best. The Blue Hole itself should be Ok to dive within 1 week....no doubt it's like pea soup right now, and will take a few more days to settle down.


Belize River, Mainland, Sunday morning
The Belize River this morning has reached its highest point since Greta at Mile 48. I could drop a fishing line from my front deck and probably catch a big one.. Most notable is the noise of the river. Usually quiet, it is now roaring and sounds like a waterfall even withn the house. The expanse of the "Belize River Lake" is impressive, stretching as far as the eye can see to the East and only impaired by the very tops of Banana Bank's thatches at what used to be the riverside. All the lower corn fields are gone. If you want to come to my house in a boat, you can drive to the stairs of my front door and on the way, pick oranges from the top of trees that are 20 feet tall. Bubbles have started coming again from the base of a 150' Guanacasta tree near the house which has been a "birders paradise" for the last 12 years.. Hope there is no wind today. And, there is another foreign object not seen for over two weeks. I think its the sun working its way around the clouds. Things just may dry out a bit today. Thank God we don't have hills around that can turn into mud.

And, yes Frank, we are about 14 hours away from each other and thanks for the "gift". You shouldn't have sent so much :-)

High and dry but stranded above the Belize River Lake,
Rick


Caye Caulker
Update on area by the front pier up to Martinez. This is what I found out so far. Spin's restaurant is a disater from what I understand. Pretty wrecked up. Tina Auxillou's cement building by the beach is okay, but lots of junk piled up all along the beach by the buildings. the cemetery (old one by the beach front) near Tropical Paradise is a muck also. You have the feeling that you do not know who you are walking on. Muck is soft and deep. Awful feeling walking through there.

According to Jerry pacheco, woner of the Blue Wave water Taxi, cleanup has started on the North end and they are making good progress.
Hamaruba


Tres Cocos
We finally got electricity back at about 2:00 p.m. today. Just about everyone in Tres Cocos got their freezer clean out before things got too gross. We opened Sweet Basil today and they must have lost several thousand dollars worth of gourmet meat and cheese - we may never eat calamari or stinky cheese again. So far we are still pretty isolated from town due to high water and rough seas but that will be over soon. Some of the residents got back today - Brent and Janet, Mike and Joyce, Chuck, Stu and Bev to name a few. As the citizens north return the security situations should improve. Looking forward to things getting back to somewhat normal next week. We haven't had much rain so things are drying up nicely. We walked to the river on the road today (should say waded) it's still underwater but still there and more solid than we expected.

We plan on getting all the way to town tomorrow to see what's going on there. From what we've heard gas is the problem right now. Food and water and ice still available.
Rebecca Berlin


San Pedro 6pm
I arrived on the island at 6:00 pm. My house is safe and intact. I didn't get a chance to see the island. I did get to do a fly by of Caye Caulker at about 600 feet. Look that it took a whipping and I would say from the looks of it was completely overrun by the waves.

Unconfirmed report that P.G. sent a boat of rice to Honduras. If that's the case we don't need relief for Belize. San Pedro has received considerable contributions already.

Kat (Tuki Tuki) and her friend brought about 20 boxes of medical supplies, shovels, buckets and in all 31 pieces of luggage. The gentleman that owns Cayo Espanto (a small island behind Ambergris Caye) brought enough relief to fill a Cessna Caravan. Overall it sounds like we already have enough supplies.

Food does not seem to be a problem as I was invited to eat with friends and we had leftovers.

I am told that the beach has been cleaned up already and that it was at least twice as worst.

Everyone so far says SEND THE RELIEF TO HONDURAS.

A Lion member suggested I route it through the Lions Club and I agree that's the best way. Tomorrow I'll get the names of contacts at the Lions Club in Honduras and see if they can help us move the relief through them.
Jorge Varela


We have a friend who spoke to Rene Paz today and he wanted us to let everyone know the Amigo's Dive Shop was damaged, but will be re-built "bigger and stronger" than ever! Also, Cholos will be serving Belikin again in a few days! Everyone in the Paz clan is safe and well!

We'll see you in February if you're reading this Melanie and all!
Love you lots, SE & VLK


At the Sunbreeze, we are fully operational. As a result of Mitchs' water surges, we lost our pier, minimal damage to the dive shop and a piece off the seawall.

Thanks for the prays from all of you. We are thankful Mitch did not come to Belize.
God Bless. Julia Edwards


Life After Mitch
The Mayan Princess came through Mitch with flying colors. We lost our beach chairs and the pier, but the beach and coconut trees made it fine. No damage to the building or rooms. We will be open for business tomorrow. There is still a lot of debris to clean up, but life goes on. We were lucky.
Sheila

San Ignacio
Everything here in San Ignacio is ok , we have floods , the macal river keeps coming up then goes down . most people here have now gone back home, we were lucky this time
Bob Jones of Evas Restaurant

And now for the good news from Ambergris Caye:
Well, it's been 20 years since the last hurricane (Greta) struck Belize and 37 years since the last mega-hurricane (Hattie) whumped us. We have been lucky.

Efforts to clean up the mess on the beach are well under way, and we should see the job completed well before the end of this week. I did see a couple of postings over the past few days which suggested the beaches had gone....the good news is that now that the sea has gone down to more or less its normal level, the beaches look to be in pretty good shape overall. Where there is erosion in spots, other areas have built up more.

One dive shop survived!!!! Rigi Gomez's little "See Dolphins" dive shop (plywood construction!) is still there in its original spot at the Playador. Having said that, all those dive shops which didn't make it will still be able to operate as most if not all of them preserved their equipment and boats.

And now for some really big news: three days ago I was on the 3rd floor of the Spindrift hotel with family members watching HUGE waves, at least 25-30ft, breaking on the reef. (That reef saved us again, we'd better take good care of it). Would you believe the Yellow marker bouy survived, IT'S STILL THERE! It must have been buried under 15 feet of fast moving waves at times and it didn't budge.

Looks like a lot of the dive site bouys didn't fare so well, quite a few of them have washed ashore. It won't be long before boats go out to check dive and snorkel sites to see what, if any, damage has been sustained.

Sea walls vs. natural beach...this has been a hot topic on the island for a few years now. For a storm such as this where the sole damage was from waves, (the wind never got over 25mph on Ambergris Caye) it didn't matter if you did or didn't have a sea wall close to the waters edge, the damage was the same. I did see that sea walls that were constructed well away from the waters edge did a very good job of protecting the property within, most notably at the Belize Yacht Club and Royal Palm Villas. Each of these resorts also have sea walls on the waters edge and these didn't fare so well. Natural beach did OK overall provided buildings were not too close to the water.

I can't think of a single hotel that won't be ready for guests in a week or less. Tim Jeffer's "Coconuts" Hotel is full already..with our friends of the Belize Defence Force. Well done Tim for volunteering your lovely hotel for these hard working guys, but please, only charge them low season rates!!

Tropic and Maya Island Air now flying normal schedules to and from Ambergris Caye.

Belize Defence Force here on the island tonight, probably to help enforce a curfew to guard against looting....most folk are back now but there are still some empty properties.

Speaking of looting... here's a fun game for the whole family to play: As those of you who have followed the storm on the Web probably know, there have been some arrests made of looters. The law-abiding citizens of San Pedro that I have spoken to agree that these looters are nothing but scum sucking vermin. Now, Belize is a civilized democracy with a justice system which is modeled on the British style, which means that these thieves will not be punished the way we'd like them to be. But! it would be fun to find out what YOU, the reader, would like to see happen to them. So, a big electronic Internet pat on the back for the web surfer who comes up with the most imaginative penalty for the Looters of Ambergris Caye. No holds barred, but, please, no foul language. Just post your ideas here!

To end this posting on a more sobering note: The center of Hurricane Mitch got as close as 170 miles to Ambergris Caye, and as close as 130 miles to ANYWHERE on mainland Belize. This means that it has STILL been 20 years since the last hurricane (Greta) struck Belize and 37 years since the last mega-hurricane (Hattie) whumped us.
We REALLY have been lucky.


Caye Caulker Sat Evening
Thanks for all the telephone calls and prayers of concern.......

Well today 31 October as we all know is Halloween and this is exactly what Hurricane Mitch has been playing with us from the 26th October. If this Hurricane which was a category 5 or catastrophic hurricane had hit Belize city we would still be in Belmopan wondering if our homes were still standing as the winds of this devastating hurricane were up to 180 mph, which means we would have no Belize City left. Fortunately God saw it fit to turn this monster away from us. Unfortunately the coast of Nicaragua and mainly Honduras including the Bay Islands of Roatan, Guanaja, Cortez and other coastline cities have been badly damaged and thousands of people are homeless and appealing for food and clothes. About 50 thousand people were in Belmopan and the rest were in Cayo and Benque and others in the northern towns. As of today we have found out that the Islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker were the ones hit the worse as most of the piers were washed away and a lot of the beach was eroded. At the moment Belize City has only some high tide and cloudy with some showers. Also the southern districts and towns have been hit with torrential rains and floods. In Belize the banana industry will be greatly affected.

Yesterday we headed back from Belmopan to Belize City to start unpacking and putting things back together. There will be no newspaper this week so this is all the news you will be getting. As more information keeps coming out I will be letting you know. This exercise has cost the Government of Belize, who is broke, millions of dollars and also the private enterprise. Everyone in the country are congratulating the Government in the manner they handled the situation as the shelters were properly attended to and there were no major incidents, just minor ones that were taken care of. Everybody at the shelters were fed and taken care of. Except for Belize city which was completely empty and there were some incidents of looting the victims being mainly Chinese shops. On Wednesday night police arrested some 80 looters and by the following day a special court was held and they were prosecuted. The Police and the BDF were out in force to protect the citizens of Belize City. Today the restaurants are not open to sell food as chicken and vegetables are scarce. But everyone has canned food, so I guess for somedays we will be eating tuna, sausage, biscuits, etc. But all in all we are happy because God spared our citizens and our lives. I urge everyone to go to church and thank God for sparing Belize City. PS: As of now 120 something people have died in Honduras and we believe the numbers will increase. Also 1000 homes in the island of Guanaja were destroyed. The whole island was washed away. It is now that people are realizing that when George Price built the new capital of Belmopan after 1961 hurricane it was a wise idea and that the man had vision. Even those that criticised it were seen going with their suitcase heading up to Belmopan for shelter.
Danny Madrid,J.P.


RE: North side
Many residences suffered water damage (you know, the San Pedrito and San Juan areas, very low land at the best of times).

RE: Lighthouse area
Turneffe certainly saved Belize City from damage as it's right in the way of the waves that would have swamped the city.

Don't know about its condition or Lighthouse Reef.


Belmopan
Just got word from one of my sisters that was up in Belmopan. Her email is just back up today. According to her not much happened in Belmopan. Not even hard rains. Mostly light drizzling.

On the way back from Belmopan roads were flooded and lots of rain.( This was yesterday)

My Dad,Orlando Carrasco, one of his boats was split in 2. Water was 1 foot deep all the way up to his yard, which is on the fron t street. He lives by the old cemetery next to Tropical Paradise.


Does anybody know how the Cayo District resorts (many of which are right on or close to rivers) are doing? What about 5 Sisters and the other Pine Mountain Ridge resorts?

4pm Saturday
Showery outbreaks all day in the west. The rivers have risen a further 12ins today. The road to the border is open with the Macal river close to the top of its banks.

Over 1000 Belizeans fled to Melchor in Guatemala on Tuesday last. The border remained open during the emergency. All hotels filled up, and the authorities opened schools and Gov buildings as refugee centres. I note that the Mexican border was closed to Belizeans during the crisis !
' By their deeds you shall know them'.


Also remember, that in 1961, Hurricane Hattie destroyed Chetumal and it neighboring area. So.....maybe the Mexicans were doing us a favor. Remember also, that the forecasters were predicting that if the hurricane had moved on towards Belize, that it would travel over the Yucatan Peninsula area. (I would guess that it would be much of the same path as Hurricane Hattie).

Just talked to Tim at Coconuts, minor damage to beach bar, hotel open and ready for visitors. He has only one room left open for today though! Everybodys out on the beaches, working hard to clean things up. Will be mostly fine in a week, will be totally fine in a couple weeks. Piers will take a little longer, but alternatives are being devised.

San Pedro 2:15 pm
Hey Good Buddy

The medical school is fine. Thought it would have floated away but Banyan Bay area received lots of sand buildup, so they have "dunes" - sort of. Don't know about the Seven Seas area - did hear that Serrano's bar and grocery which is about 200 ft from Seven Seas had lots of water - in fact the whole Boca del Rio had water . We have been on foot and bicycle where possible so haven't been to the northern (7 seas) area. Lots of debris on the roads. The San Juan area (Boca del Rio) is without electricity - too many lines and connections underwater. The same is true with the area across the river, Tres Cocos and the north. Also no power to the south from Victoria House on down. The line crews are coming back today and will get to work on restoring power. The BEL (Belize Electricity Ltd) crew that was here worked non stop. Were out yesterday trimming branches that could hit lines. We also learned from them that the fuel barge was here late last week and the island has a 30 day supply of diesel. (30 days from whatever day last week).

WASA likewise is doing all they can to restore water. So many lines broken with the piers being battered and destroyed. We really shouldn't have a water crisis if the folks with cisterns will share. Most of us have overflowing cisterns. Our downspouts have been disconnected for a week. Can't even venture a guess at the amount of rain - our rain gauge, no matter how often we empty it is always full. San Pedro's police force has been and continues to the "the greatest". The officers have worked non stop in any manner needed. The same with the hurricane committee and town board. I sure have a lot of respect and appreciation to the cadre of young policemen who are serving the island. Most of them are younger than my children, and they surely must have been as scared as the rest of us but their professionalism is to be commended.

The great sound of planes arriving is filling the air. Tropic and Maya have been flying non stop. We know it will be trying here for a few days, but folks coming back have to be tremendously relieved. It's a mess here, but most homes ok. It's good to see our neighbors returning and the plywood coming off the windows. More later. Thanks for everything - you have been our umbilical cord. Know you're swamped, but if you know anything about Don and Eli Pearly who were managing the Bayman Club on Guanaja - let us know. The last we heard was Wednesday. Eli called Iguana Jack and said they were unable to leave the island and were battening down with 10 guests.
Bruce and Victoria
Don and Eli Pearly rode the storm out in the shelter underneath their house in Honduras. They were able to make contact with Eli's sister in the states via a cell phone I believe Weds. The resort is destroyed apparently there is nothing remaining. I am not sure about their house. They had enough food in the shelter for a week. I will know more probably this evening.
Madeline Bunch


From El Pescador
Hi everyone,
Thank you all for your well wishes. Everyone and everything is alive and well.

Well, here is the short version of the story: We evacuated 15 guests, 10 staff, Logan and I Tuesday morning around 5am. Mitch was 180 mph with wind gusting up to 205 mph moving in a straight westerly direction right for us. We all got out safely to Houston. Logan and I returned to Belize on Friday and had to spend the night in Belize City. We returned to the island today. And, it's not too bad!!

There is no structural damage to the lodge or any outlying buildings. All water, sewage, electric, computer and telephone systems (except x2398 is out for some reason so call on x2975 for a couple of days please) are running with no problems. There appears to be no water damage on the first floor. All windows, walls, roofs, etc. are intact. The majority of the pier and casting platforms are standing. The boats are fine. That is all of the good news.

The bad news is purely cosmetic. We lost some coconut trees. The sand has reformed the beach making the ocean side of the pool level with the beach (as opposed to 2 feet higher)!? We also have a lot of wood and debris in the front yard. We should be cleaned up in a couple days. No reservations need to be canceled or rescheduled. We will be open and ready for business when Mark and Jerry bring their groups next week. Please call or email with any questions or comments. I will answer your specific emails as I get to them. Please be patient for a couple of days. Thanks again for your concern. It helped because we are all fine. We at El Pescador were luckier than some others. Some friends made some comments about coming down to help during the next couple of days. If you were serious the island could use it; if not EP directly other hotels and homes in San Pedro.
Thank you again!!
Ali, Logan and the staff of El Pescador
El Pescador
PO Box 17
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America


Placencia 9:22 a.m., BT Sat.
For the most part everyone is still evacuated because the roads are so bad. Yesterday the buses bringing the villagers of Seine Bight back home from Georgetown had to turn back because of water on the road. A few people made it through yesterday in private vehicles but no public transport of any kind and most private transport is reluctant to try it.

Skip (Turtle Inn) was only back because he came by boat from Mango Creek. I have not heard of any injuries or deaths resultant from the storm. The storm never really hit here at all except for heavy rain. There were reports of food in short supply in Belmopan the second day of evacuation but everyone there has returned home so it is not a problem. Here we have plenty of food in the shops because most of the people have not been able to get through to eat it. Electricity and water are running everywhere.

People have been up and down the Penninsula and I have heard no reports of any storm damage anywhere except for some docks lost at the cayes. Olga's grocery is open in Placencia. I am not sure of others. No answer at the gas station.

I think this news will change today. It has not rained since yesterday afternoon and the strong wind has dried things out some. I have seen a couple of new vehicles already today and I am guessing that many people are going to try to return home today . There is still more than a foot of water on the road at Riversdale and it gets deeper at high tide. This is not enough to stop most people around here. Seine Bight is like a ghost town on Halloween because no buses have gotten through yet. About twenty people walked and hitched in yesterday from Georgetown.

I don't think Ray and Colleen from the Green Parrot are back yet but they may have come in yesterday. Their phone doesn't ring at all. It is a radio phone but usually works fine.

I just talked to Frank at Roberts Groove and he is fine. No damage there.
Kerry Goss, Blue Crab Resort


Rebuilding Docks
If we are to rebuild we had better start right away. Regarding Docks at Ambergris and Caulker Cayes.

I can make arrangements with the Mennonites for Cabbage Bark and/or Bullet tree planking. Need to know exact sizes. Such a 2" * 6" * 12 ft -- rough. 2" * 6" * 6ft plained.

How many 6" wide planks per 12 ft section??

We can also supply Salt water pimento posts and other such.
Peter Singfield   snkm@btl.net 04-35213


OK Ray -- and Marty -- here is the situation
Planks cost $1.20 per board foot at Shipyard. This is cheap!! Hell, when I had a sawmill in Canada we were lucky to get 15 cents Canadian per ft!!
To get it to Corozal is another 20 cents per ft. And both these prices are written in stone!!
I would not touch it (financing the purchase and delivering to the Cayes, for less than $1.00 per foot. I would be lucky to get 600 ft into the boat without sinking it!! Could make two trips per week.
Plus, the plaining cost 15 cents per foot. So talking (run price) of $2.50 per board ft landed at either Caye!!
The 2*6 12 ft would cost 12 board ft. times 2.5 or $30 EACH!!
2*6 6 ft would cost $15 EACH!!
Saying 10 6 inche board per 12 ft lengh -- each 12 ft section would cost;
10 * $15 = $150 plus 2*12= $60 or total of $210 BH
This does not include the posts!! I have to get pricing on those yet!!
As for cement posts -- better to haul out the cement and steel rods.
If I started Monday -- I would have the first load ready to ship by thursday.
I can organize more small boats -- one right away -- so that makes a positive 4 loads per week!!
Boy -- this is where that landing craft I was talking about last year comes in handy.
Sure -- they have big boats -- but nothing can get to Belize City yet to load them.
Basically, I can deliver one complete 84 ft long dock every 3 days. At a cost of $2000 BH each!! This may be off as I am guessing the post costs!! Further, their is a nail and bolt cost -- but suspect they may have that.
Further, I can also supply labor and all tools to build such. Including generator to power the drills and saws.
For building -- double the price! -- $4000 BH for 84ft Dock -- as example. We could make one every 3 days.
Honduras has lost 70 major bridges so far. So this hurricane did not hit us. But one will some day and you can kiss that Southern Highway good buy. We should be investing in ships -- not roads.
And oh -- the boat is licensed, I am a Belize citizen with papers -- all supplies would be coming from Belize -- nothing sleazy here.
So if you know someone that wants to get going -- pass on this info now -- I most probably will lose all interest and go fishing instead 10 days from now.
Peter

Caye Caulker
Wendy's trailer where she lives with three kids is still standing on posts but what beach they had is gone and the sea is underneath the home. Tina's and Diane's places likewise have the sea lapping the downstairs. Ilna Auxillou over the other side of the police station, is also a house that is now over the sea. Didn't get a report on the cement building, but it would be the same with sea coming through the downstairs living room and kitchen.

The storm surge is still high and waves still pounding. They have lost about half the lot or more under the sea. Anywhere from six feet to 25 feet of land. The beach street that is 24 ft wide of course had been gone since Hurricane Fifi and was about 6 inches underwater. This street was the protecting barrier for beach front lots and gave room for people to pass, tourists and locals along the front. But since Hurricane Fifi, homeowners between Front Street and the invisible Beach Street have partially filled up five or six feet of the beach street, to stop people walking through their yards. This now has gone again, plus more than half the homeowners lots. It will all have to be refilled again, to keep the tourist industry vibrant. How to do this is a problem. Wendy was worried that she and her kids would have no place to stay. But the trailer is still up on posts and the sea and waves are lapping the bottom. I expect the inside will be soaking wet and everything ruined. Tina's home is a two story, her bottom story where she lives is full of water and the sea is right there. It was about 80 feet from the water line before. Now the water line is through the bottom apartment. The sea is still high, and hopefully it will recede a bit. But the new high water mark is going to be at the front door. Or in Wendy's case, she is going to not be over land anymore, but over water and step out in the sea to get ashore. There is now no exit from her house to public streets, without wading around other lots nearby, as the beach street and the bit that we had maintained and filled up is gone. The park is on one side, the John Marin Jr between her and Front Street and Sandbox to the south. The sea all around and no beach street pathway in front anymore for access.

The rural representative for the PUP has got some strong lobbying to do for government to get a dredge out there and some equipment to clean up for the Town Council on Caye Caulker. Presumably the Prime Minister will start the ball rolling, then assign some grant writers to get a couple of million to cover fixing up Caye Caulker as a prime tourist dollar earning foreign exchange place once again. The Tourist season starts with a bang in six weeks. No time for delays. Haste is imperative. Start now and seek money for GRANTS and Hurricane relief later. It would be economic madness to lose the tourist season, with the heaviest six week earning period of the whole year to come between December 18th and end of January 31st.


An Economic Argument
The tourist industry is a major supplier of foreign exchange for the nation of Belize. Much of the foreign exchange that the Central Bank pulls out of the system to pay off the more than half billion dollars of national debt interest payments, the imports for government and other things are provided in great part by the Tourism Industry.

Most of the foreign exchange earned by the tourist industry is earned in just six short weeks. True there is tourism income for 8 months a year, but those six weeks produce more than the rest of the year put together. Those six weeks are in themselves, only six weeks away. They start mid December to end of January. Of this, about 80% of this tourist money foreign exchange, finds itself passing through San Pedro and Caye Caulker into the banking system. These are just rough figures, you can argue the exact amounts later. The trickle down effect, also effects the whole rest of the country, in all districts. Even the service industry and merchants of the district towns and media outlets.

That said, it would be reasonable to assume that the nation and the GOB have an interest in seeing that both Caye Caulker and San Pedro are beautiful by mid December just a few weeks away. What will happen is that in the first two weeks of the six week high season, the visitors between mid December and 1st. of January will by word of mouth, to friends, relatives and other people, by telephone, letter and gossip influence the following visitor statistics for the last four weeks of the short six week high season. This word of mouth advertising, will in turn effect the visitors for the other eight months.

I argue that what happens in those first two weeks, the impressions people get, the enjoyment they find, will have a direct economic effect on our balance of payments, our national debt load, the ability to function as a government and a country for the whole year of 1999. We are partners in the tourist industry. All the little mom and pop tourist resorts and the government and the nation's economic health as a whole.

This said, whatever the Town Council chairman requires right now, for beach cleanup, he should get. Clam shell crane, one or two dump trucks, a bulldozer. Whatever he wants, he should get it, not in months to come, but by next Wednesday. We have our nation's economic backbone to the wall for 1999. Red tape, bureaucratic lethargy, department permits, environmental studies, all that stuff has to go into high gear. The resources of the nation as a whole should at this time, be put into focusing on the economic income for the treasury and the economy for 1999. If there are any dredges around the country, they should be pulled and sent on their way this week Monday and arrive and set up operation by Wednesday, in front of Caye Caulker.

The beach and beach street has to be filled before December 15th, otherwise the community will not have the ambience that tourists find so appealing. True the town of Caye Caulker will eventually get it all cleaned up, but many property owners are not going to be able to afford anything, as right now they are in the short cash off season. When money is non-existant, cash flow is zero and overheads are still running on credit and overdrafts at the banks.

The tourist industry is a partnership and the nation gets considerable foreign exchange from it in which to function. In this emergency, the focus should be on piling in the resources we have, dredges, clam shell crane, dump trucks, whatever is needed. Time is of the essence. We have about 45 days to accomplish restoring the ambience, both at Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Then the tourist visitor will get to do the rest, by our standard word of mouth advertising. The success of the economy of the whole nation rests on a successful tourist season.

I do not mean to belittle other places in this economic argument, it is just that resources are always piled into the port when they yelp and cry a little. It is time that those who manage the economy, realize where the foreign exchange dollars come from, without which the government cannot function.


Dangriga Sat am
We have been having light rains off and on every day. We have been having high winds ever since Friday afternoon. Saturday morning - no rain but constant wind.

The sea is extremely rough and very high. Brian Cullerton has the sea literally knocking at his front door. Ray's daughter Diane has the sea at her front gate. I've never seen the sea like this. In some areas, debris has washed up on the streets about 100 feet inland. The river is overflowing as well as the canal. Many homes are surrounded by the canal water. I feel for the people living in that area. Very nasty conditions.

Dangriga was practically a ghost town on Tuesday and Wednesday and I had expected to find a lot of looting had taken place. I'm not sure what we can attribute it to, but the amount looting was minimal.

Ted Aranda's bakery was making bread on Friday - a very welcome relief. Henry Canton was out and about during the days rounding up supplies to take to the shelters.

As far as I know, telephone service was uninterrupted, and there were only a couple of brief blackouts as a consequence of the storm. It will still be a while before things get back to normal here, but at least it's good to be home.
Cathy R. Zabaneh


Sat am San Pedro
Well it looks like things are starting to return to normal in San Pedro. The weather continues to improve, the seas are calming and some beach clean up has started. Some of the islanders who went to Lamani were able to return home yesterday. In answer to anyone who wonders if there will be a Lions barbecue tonight...no chicken, will have to wait until next Friday! (WHAT? No Lions BBQ? well then things are not getting QUITE back to normal ... Marty) Can't hardly wait...we'll be there. The conditions of the buildings is excellent! Looting has greatly diminished as a result of the excellent work by the new police force on Ambergris Caye! Some flooding in the north end of town by the river. Only hardship currently is that the basic food stuffs are running short, but the grocery stores continue to open off and on during the day to sell canned meats etc. Once the warehouses in Belize City open, the grocers are expecting restocking. Everyone is keeping a great attitude and is anxious to normalize things! Everyone is planning to get the tourist industry back in operation as early as this Sunday. Apparently the hotels are getting calls from travelers wanting to know how soon they can arrive. The Playador Hotel and Ramons weathered this storm very well. docks are gone at both sites. At the Playador the condos did not sustain any damage of significance, but approximately 15 feet of beach was eroded. We have been requested to travel in country at the end of next week. We will be arriving San Pedro next Friday with requested materials. For all of us who are native or adopted San Pedrano's ...thank you to all of the wonderful individuals who have cared about our people and homes. I would encourage each and everyone of them not to stop their concern. There is so much that can be done in the months ahead for San Pedro, such as donations of money to the Lions Clinic, the high school computer lab, the library and so much more. Come visit us!
Larry Grider

8:30 a.m. Saturday morning
It does look like Mitch has given it up. The center of pressure moved a long way West overnight. It is over Yoro, and San Pedro Sula inland from the coast about 50 miles. There is a heck of a lot of rain on the east side that is going to hit the southern half of Belize late today at the current rate of speed travelling westward. Looks like a rainy Saturday night and all day Sunday for the lower half of Belize.

I think the Rainbow Hotel was Lester's concrete built motel type structure that was two story and long, facing the sea. He was at sea level to start with, in a low area of land. That it broke in half would seem to indicate the water dug out the supporting sand. I hope he had it paid off by now.

Unlike Honduras, where the islands go up to 400 ft or so in height, all the islands along the Great Barrier Reef of Belize, with the exception of Ambergris Caye are sand bars and can change shape with wind and currents. They usually maintain shape when the mangrove fringe exists, but where there are people and the desire to get ocean breezes, they cut down the mangroves and the sand bar islands tend to get washed away and rebuilt again, after many storms. Ranguana Caye I have seen as big as eight acres and as small as 2 acres. Caye Caulker is a sand bar island and is not more than 200 to 300 yards wide, though about 4 miles long. The natural coral channels in the fronting Barrier reef and subsequent six hour tidal changes around the island and inland sea create the island.

Any storm and tidal surge and change of current flow can damage Caye Caulker. The front beach area erodes about six feet a year. This is a gradual drift over the centuries backward and westward from when they formed up on the reef proper, long ago. It was a mistake to cut the mangrove fringe by the village over the years. Would have been better to just trim them up 15 feet for sea breezes and make them tall trees with the protecting roots to hold the island. Trouble is, mangroves make for mucky bottom. Not pleasant walking, but when you cut them down, you get a hard pan and eventually sand, which is easier on ones feet. It makes the village vulnerable to storm and tidal damage. There used to be mangroves all along the island when I was young. It was a fight to keep them trimmed then. Mangrove fringes are easily replanted though, if the government ecology department decided this was a better way to go. An artificial sea wall and man made sand beach might be a better solution long term for places like Caye Caulker and Caye Chapel. Something to think about for the next generation.


According to the Weather Channel as of 9:00am Mitch was downgraded to a Tropical Depression! Heavy rain still is pouring over Central America and the total death count is over 158 (none reported in Belize)

Mitch Advisory Number 40
9:00 am BT
LAST ONE OF THESE THAT I'M GOING TO POST
(unless folks tell me they still want more...)
...Mitch downgraded to a tropical depression...heavy rainfall threat continues for portions of central America...

at 9 am CST...1500z...the governments of Mexico...belize... guatemala and Honduras have discontinued the tropical storm warnings for the caribbean coasts of their countries. Small Craft should should continue to exercise caution in the coastal and offshore waters.

At 9 am CST...1500z...the center of the tropical depression was located near latitude 14.5 north...longitude 88.7 west or about 25 miles...40 km...south of Santa Rosa de Copan Honduras.

The depression is moving toward the west near 7 mph ...11 km/hr. This motion is expected to continue today with a gradual turn toward the West-Northwest tonight.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph... 55 km/hr...with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb...29.56 inches.

Additional rainfall totals of 15 to 25 inches are possible over portions of Honduras...nicaragua and el Salvador...with lesser amounts over portions of belize...guatemala...and the Yucatan Peninsula. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides...especially in association with higher terrain.

Repeating the 9 am CST position...14.5 n... 88.7 w. Movement toward...west near 7 mph. Maximum sustained winds... 35 mph. Minimum central pressure...1001 mb.


For those who wonder, the People locator and the Relief section will disappear after today, as the need has been removed. We will continue to post here information about San Pedro and nearby areas for several days.
Whoops that's not going to work. Folks are continuing to ask how to get food and help to communities, so we will monitor Belizean authorities to see how this will pan out.
Marty

Corozal
Nothing to report. Beautiful morning. A few light showers during the night. No winds. The sun is presently shining. However, the best minds in the USA are forecasting that hurricane Mitch will turn North today, cross over into the Gulf of Mexico, come around East, then South past Cancun to mash Corozal -- all this in just 3 weeks time;)

6 am Sat
5.25 ins of rain last night. The Macal continues to raise slowly. Likewise for the Mopan. We had a 12ins raise last night as the Belize River continues to cover large areas of farmland . we are currently 23ft above normal. The slow raising allows time for evacuation where needed.

Julian Rivero heading home today, Jorge Varela also, and probably a whole lotta other folks... Varela, I saw Ernesto Gomez of BEL today and he said the power plant has a thirty day suppy of fuel - fuel was delivered last sunday.... So electricity is not a problem.
Bruce Collins

Good news for travellers to San Pedro Ambergris Caye Belize. Other than the lost of piers and some beach erosion, the island remains intact! Although some dive shops sustained damage, the equipment was removed from most of them prior to the storm and dive shop operators intend to resume services as soon as possible.

It is expected that the minor damages will be cleaned up in just a few days and the only reminder of Mitch will be a slightly changed shoreline and the absence of piers. In as little as a week the island will be ready to offer fishing, snorkeling, diving, and just plain old relaxing San Pedro style to its' visitors.

Those with travel plans to San Pedro are informed that they should proceed with their plans as there were no significant damage to buildings and Hotels are making preparations to open as soon as Sunday. International flights into Belize and flights to the island are expected to resume a normal schedule today. Check with your travel agent or directly with the airline and hotel to see if they will be open, then pack the sunscreen and tell your friends you're on your way to San Pedro Ambergris Caye!

Only possible holdup if the weather system continues to weaken is it is possible we run out of fuel for the diesel engines that provide electricity. Food no longer a big issue as the planes can fly in as soon as the Belize City warehouses open.


Hurrah! Come All To Visit Belize 8:21 PM
Hello Friends Of The World, Hurrah! Hurrah! Thanks to you all for all your prayers, in our greatest moment of need, and the promises of assistance you have offered to us. MITCH IS NO LONGER, THE LORD HAS PROTECTED ALL OF US! Our great barrier reef is safe for all of you to see. San Pedro is coming alive as I write. Our great wonderful country has been spared from the monstrous Mitch. We are preparing to receive you as you pack your things to travel to our exotic beautiful country. We are having a little rain, but it is a MORIBUND MITCH.

FOLLOW ALL YOUR PLANS, COME TO BELIZE. Our wild life is intact and more alive than before, our forests are greener, there has been a lot of water for them. Our great mayan temples are drying up for you to climb and photograph them. Our cayes are opening their doors to receive you as the sea is abating to a tamed, tranquil, shallow, blue barrier reef ( a world heritage) filled with friendly marine life.

We thank you all for your good wishes, and prayers. We were all heard. There has been absolutely no report on loss of life ( thank you all) and very little loss in material things. We were prepared for the worst all over the country.

We thank our Government of Belize, We thank Patty Arceo for inspiring confidence in us, We thank the Weather Channel, We thank our local radio stations, and We applaud for ourselves. We prepared ourselves, and the Lord helped us. When you all visit us, you will hear interesting anecdotes from the critical moments that Mitch made us pass through. There was love, kindness, sharing and solidarity never before put to the test. There was fun in the mass exodus from the coast and cayes, in our villages, etc. Visit My Belize Tropical Paradise Page to convince yourself that it is time for you to come to Belize!!
http://www.geocities.com/thetropics/cabana/4764
For God, People, and Country
G.Rosado JP BS


Mitch Advisory Number 39
3:00 am BT

...Mitch continues to produce torrential rains over portions of central America...

tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the caribbean coast of Honduras...guatemala...belize...and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Cabo catoche southward...including the offshore islands. Small Craft in the warning areas should remain in port. Warnings may be lowered later today over some of the warning area.

At 3 am CST...0900z...the poorly defined center of Tropical Storm Mitch was estimated near latitude 14.2 north...longitude 87.9 west. This position is inland over Honduras about 45 miles...75 km...west of tegucigalpa.

Mitch is moving toward the West Southwest near 7 mph...11 km/hr... and and a West Southwest to westward motion is expected for the next 24 hours.

Maximum sustained winds are estimated near 40 mph... 65 km/hr... with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles...325 km... mainly to the north of the center over the waters near the north coast of Honduras.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb...29.53 inches.

Additional rainfall totals of 15 to 25 inches are possible over portions of Honduras...nicaragua and el Salvador...with lesser amounts over portions of belize...guatemala...and the Yucatan Peninsula. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides...especially in association with higher terrain.

Repeating the 3 am CST position...14.2 n... 87.9 w. Movement toward...West Southwest near 7 mph. Maximum sustained winds... 40 mph. Minimum central pressure...1000 mb.

An intermediate advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at 6 am BT. followed by the next complete advisory at 9 am BT.


As I read all these messages I need to say a couple of things.
For many of "us" this past week as been very difficult, sitting here in North America, safe, but seeing what has been happening to this country and the people we love. We have seen an INCREDIBLE sense of caring and love coming from many people who have only visited and others who have become nearly Belizean.

We also need to keep out emotions under control and not react negatively to comments posted on this board. Remember, we want to share this "Jewel" with others. Not shed a negative towards it and us.

The people have survived, most important, and San Pedro will be ready soon to see you. The San Pedrano's are an wonderfully strong people who will have their hotels, beaches and dive shops ready.

I am thinking all of our prayers helped....

Let's put our energy into letting the world know that Belize is here and waiting to greet you.
Wendy


Food for thought!
Political decisions are never easy. Nor the decisions on allocation of scarce financial resources. Tourism the big money earner that it is and the flow of much needed foreign exchange, notably dollars is a very important cash flow cow, both for citizens, the economy and the government treasury. When considering the allocation of scarce national tax resources for tourism infra-structure. I think myself, this time around, it is time to put some money into a sea wall and replacement of the beach street in front of the village of Caye Caulker. This is after all, one of the major, two places for earning dollar foreign exchange in the country. Notwithstanding the port town want to constantly improve their own town tourism infrastructure with national tax revenues. The situation is a little lop sided when the biggest dollar earners have to do it on their own, and places like the port get mega bucks out of national tax revenue for doubtful financial returns.

Me-thinks and I have a prejudiced biased viewpoint here, that this time around, the damage from Hurricane Fifi to beach street be fixed, as around 8 families are currently faced with loss of homes on the sea front side of the village with homes that are either destroyed, or would in any civilized society be condemned, from Hurricane Mitch. This is not counting the business places and subsequent property damage. In this regard, Caye Caulker suffered worse property damage than San Pedro affecting homes and family lives. Monkey River also suffered considerable damage on a lesser scale.

Getting Caye Caulker homes back up, the beach front corrected and attractive again, should be a priority for tourism infra structure funds. This is a legitimate gripe, for previous perceived unfair allocation of national tax revenues on tourism infrastructure. Actually, I have faith that the PUP will do so. They always had their head screwed on straight and priorities correct. Better than the UDP. But it does not hurt to remind those mainlanders where the bread and butter money and foreign exchange comes from.

The squeaking door gets the oil! Time for the Caye Caulker Town Council to turn political and start putting heavy pressure for fixing the beach street in front of the whole village as a top priority tourism infra structure expenditure by the new government.
Ray Auxillou


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