Hurricane Mitch- Wednesday

CLICK HERE for weather maps and click below for further information...
LINKS TO HURRICANE MITCH INFORMATION: http://hurricane.terrapin.com/ATL-13A/index.html
http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index_special.html

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

As of Wednesday morning, here are the conditions on the ground in San Pedro. These postings are coming from folks still on the island, or folks in contact with those on the island. We will add to this as we are able... All information is about San Pedro unless specifically noted. If you have information to add, please click here. I am able to be telephoned at USA 541-686-0277 or 541-686-9209.
URGENT- Contact Embasy regarding flights out from Belize to Miami. at 2-77161.
The number for the "Belize task force" at the US State Dept. is 202-647-6614, 6616 and 6617 in case you want to call and demand help.

PREDICTION
Wednesday Evening 10pm

Mitch has been stagnated near The Bay islands and will likely remain so through tonight. The continued interaction of the southern portion of its circulation with Honduras and upwelling of cooler shelf waters near the coast has contributed to a steady weakening. Last aerial reconnaissance observations showed a breakdown of the eyewall Structure. Some further weakening is likely if the system remains quasi-stationary...but if the center moves back over open waters...re-strengthening could occur.
Very little change is made to the previous official track forecast. Numerical guidance models continue to be diverse. The nogaps model shows a mostly northward motion during the forecast period...but other models predict a northwestward to westward track. The latest NCEP Global Model run shows very little eastward progression of the 500 mb longwave ridge that is currently over the Gulf of Mexico during the forecast period. However this model does show the development of a mid-tropospheric anticyclone to the east of Mitch in 2-3 days. This could result in a more northward component of motion.

Beyond the official forecast period...a shortwave trough at 500 mb may break down the Gulf Ridge and could steer Mitch toward the northeast...but this is uncertain.

Storm surge...waves...and high winds will continue over portions of Honduras and adjacent islands. Large and dangerous waves are also impacting other coastal locations in the hurricane warning area. Rainfall from this slow-moving hurricane is also a major threat... producing life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

forecast positions and max winds

initial  29/0300z 16.3n  86.0w    85 kts
12hr vt  29/1200z 16.5n  86.5w    80 kts
24hr vt  30/0000z 17.0n  87.0w    80 kts
36hr vt  30/1200z 17.5n  87.5w    80 kts
INLAND
48hr vt  31/0000z 18.5n  88.0w    85 kts
72hr vt  01/0000z 20.5n  88.0w    70 kts
                        

Click here for images of tracking path and weather map

EVERYONE: contact your local news agencies, to try to pressure forces to get the people off the island. Give the news folks my email (marty@casado.net) and phone: 541-686-0277 if they need more information. ANY HAM OPERATORS IN SAN PEDRO OR THE BELIZE AREA THAT ARE ON THE NET, PLEASE CONTACT ME SO IF THE PHONES GO DOWN WE CAN CONTINUE TO SUPPLY INFORMATION. ANYONE know any ham frequencies in use currently?


11:32pm Wed. Night
The only dock standing is the Municipal Dock, or the cargo dock by Big Daddys. Juan Azueta says 350-400 people ONLY in San Pedro Town. The beaches look so bad because of the broken docks washed up onto the beach, making it hard to tell exactly how bad they are. They are just covered with debris. Not much water downtown. Sunbreeze's wall is still there.

If you can get a message to Dr. Lerida Rodriquez, San Pedro), tell her we are attempting to participate with relief efforts, and will hopefully be there soon to help. We are both EMT-Intermidiates (Advanced Life Support), and I am a nurse. Tell her we will bring, or send (if it is not possible to "get a flight" with organized relief effort) the emergency equipment we spoke with her about.
She is at Banyan Bay and I have emailed her- Also, a group of doctors is being organized by Janet Armstrong at 770-717-5368, jenethy@aol.com

Dr. Carl Rupke at 281-277-7015 is ready to roll also, hopefully everyone can work together to eliminate redundancies.
Marty


9pm San Pedro
Alonzo got thru to his father, Ramon, just now & was told: As already known there are 2000 people still on the island. They do have electricity at this time. The curfew is currently in effect. The Boca del Rio River is flooded under 2 feet of water. It is impossible to pass there at present. The wind has shifted to the Northeast. The sea has calmed a great deal, earlier the waves had been strong enough to splash across Barrier Reef Drive entering people's fences. All the beach front is gone along the whole Island including down by Victory House etc... Two telephone poles had fallen, but have since been repaired. The television & phones are working. The hurricane is following a similar path as Hattie did in '61. Hattie's eye hit Belize badly on Turniff Island & Dangriga. It then passed close to the island, but by the time it did it had lost a lot of its strength. Currently it is a waiting game. Hopefully all goes well. Also these words of wisdom were added "when you live in beauty there is a price to pay." I hope this gives some peace of mind.

For those of you concerned about Honduras: Here's a link to a site with lots of info on conditions in Honduras, primarily the coastal islands.
http://casi.simplenet.com/gobeach/mitch/mhonduras.htm

Vidy Gomez and family from Ruby's are in Benque and doing well. There are at least 8 families with them. They are fine, its drizzling on and off, and its like waiting to have a baby....

Juan Azueta could get to town today in San Pedro, water on street was down, they had 2 hours of sun this AM. Considered trying to get off the island, but the debris was too bad in the water and he only had one engine. Ruby's Hotel is OK.


Roatan Status
To all concerned about Roatan:
My husband just called the phone company in Coxen Hole and was told that Flowers Bay and immediate vicinity have received much wind and water but everything seems to be OK. No reports of casualties, at least in that area. The fact that he was able to get through at all gives great cause for hope; perhaps it is not as bad as it sounds. Let's all pray for the best!

There were some inquires on here about Roatan. This message is, unfortunately, the only one I found that had an answer re: people who were believed to be on the Honduran coastal islands. All the other messages were pleas for info on family and friends. The web site is http://www.honduras.com/weather/; maybe there will be more actual info posted soon.


Anyone on Caye Caulker or with contact, any word on the condition of (new, big, pink, by the soccer field) Iguana Reef Inn. I know that the guys will be frantic to know if it's okay, and I wouldn't mind hearing that our gear was possibly still there.
Douglas D. H. Burns (ddhburns@bga.com)

HURRICANE MITCH ADVISORY NUMBER 30
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
10 PM EST WED OCT 28 1998

...MITCH REMAINS AT A VIRTUAL STANDSTILL NEAR THE BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CARIBBEAN COAST OF HONDURAS...GUATEMALA...BELIZE...AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO FROM CABO CATOCHE SOUTHWARD...INCLUDING THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS OF THESE AREAS. INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DANGEROUS HURRICANE.

AT 10 PM EST...0300Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MITCH WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 86.0 WEST OR VERY NEAR THE ISLAND OF GUANAJA. THIS POSITION IS ABOUT 25 MILES EAST OF THE ISLAND OF ROATAN...AND ABOUT 25 MILES NORTH OF THE COAST OF MAINLAND HONDURAS.

MITCH HAS REMAINED NEARLY STATIONARY DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS. LITTLE OVERALL MOTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT...KEEPING THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE OVER OR VERY NEAR THE BAY ISLANDS OF ONDURAS. MITCH IS LIKELY TO REMAIN A THREAT TO THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 100 MPH...160 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME ADDITIONAL WEAKENING IS LIKELY WHILE MITCH CONTINUES TO INTERACT WITH LAND.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES... 95 KM... FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 970 MB...28.64 INCHES.

RAINFALL TOTALS OF 15 TO 25 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS... ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF HONDURAS AND OTHER PARTS OF CENTRAL AMERICA. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

STORM TIDES OF 8 TO 12 FEET ABOVE NORMAL ASTRONOMICAL LEVELS ARE POSSIBLE NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HURRICANE...ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES. DANGEROUS COASTAL FLOODING DUE TO STRONG ONSHORE WINDS AND WAVES IS ALSO OCCURRING OVER OTHER COASTAL LOCATIONS IN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA.

REPEATING THE 10 PM EST POSITION...16.3 N... 86.0 W. MOVEMENT NEARLY STATIONARY. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 970 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 1 AM EST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 4 AM EST...THURSDAY.


For those of you not able to access the web: 10 PM EST report just came online. There's been no movement at all since last bulletin (7 PM EST). Still hovering at 16.4N/86.0W. Maximum wind has decreased to 100 MPH (was 105 MPH 3 hours ago).

Report from San Pedro is that all structures are still standing. (not the piers or dive shops or docks...) A report from there just on the radio is that they still have phones, food and water. 7,000 evacuated in 48 hours. (more like 6,000 out of 8,000) BTL is down in Caye Caulker -- no idea what is going on there. In San Pedro, beach erosion and some flooding. Some are refusing to leave, about 2,000, I believe. Of course, nothing *really* has happened yet. Main street is flooded with about 2.5 feet of water. Other places, including many beaches are under water -- up to four feet. Thieves have appeared and five have been arrested. Police doing a great job they say. Wood in the water is breaking props on boats making further evacuation difficult. People are urged to stay home. If you want to phone, I believe the number there is 2538. Not positive, but think that's right.

Just spoke to my in-laws in PG. Nothing spectacular to report. Mostly intermittent rain and pretty strong winds. They lost their cable so they have no tv reports. Apparently there are two cable operators in PG -- one is a UDP and the other a PUP. The PUP operator is still broadcasting. I don't know why the other is down. I certainly hope it's not for political reasons in a time like this. My in-laws said our calls twice a day are the best update they are receiving on the situation as they wait and wait. I believe VOA may still be broadcasting on the radio but I'm not sure about that. Our relatives in Belmopan said it's incredibly overcrowded with people and vehicles. Some are already running short on food because of the Belize City influx of friends and family.
Rob Gutowski

For those of you not able to access the web: 10 PM EST report just came online. There's been no movement at all since last bulletin (7 PM EST). Still hovering at 16.4N/86.0W.
Check yellow box to the right for details...

Honduras - Olanchito
Mr. Hernandez in Miami, with his wife and children in Olanchito, Honduras, reports that at 10:00 am Wednesday EST US time, his wife said that flood waters were approaching the pavement of the roads into the town, and that electricity had stopped. He also reports that approx. 10 am was the last telephone contact, that several phone numbers in Olanchito were all not responding all Wednesday.

Let's put to rest a couple of rumors that keep popping up:
1> a plane of people in a BDF plane crashed.
FALSE
One of the planes took off but the wind was so strong that it couldn't get off the ground fast enough. The pilot was able to circle around and land the plane; the passengers were put on a helicopter instead. Nobody was hurt, plane not damaged. 2> a boat with several children split open and they all drowned.
FALSE
Nobody has heard of anything like this. (I called Nellie to check on both rumors and she was certain that neither was accurate.)

Hattie Survivor Story
I'm sharing with you my experiences on Halloween night October 31, 1961 (Hurricane Hattie impact date). I was about 7 years old and living in Belize City in Cinderella Town. That night I recall looking through my bedroom window, when I saw what I later learned was a water sprout forming in the Carribean. Consequently, my mother decided to take the family across the street to St. Joesph church. Not too long after, a tornado passed over and literally ripped the top of the church tower off and took it away. Everyone ran out the church and across the street to St. Joesph school. However, a few minutes later the tornado came over the school and pulled all the walls and the roof off the first building. Everyone then ran down to the next school building.

We stayed in the school until the eye of the hurricane had passed. Afterwards, the flood waters began to rise and rise and rise, until people began to drown. The accounts from my mother indicate that she somehow tied us to the tops of some telegraph poles to prevent us from drowning. There we stayed until the water receded somewhat and she was able to swim us across the street to the roof of our house, which was miraculously still standing and now slightly above water. We remained sitting on the rooftop, with our feet in the water until we were able to climb in the windows on the second floor.

When the water finally receded, we gathered what was useable and began walking out of town through the field of death. We were later picked up by soldiers on the road and taken to the Fort George Hotel. We stayed there for a day or two and somehow ended up at the airport. At the airport we slept for some days until we were evacuated by some sort of US cargo plane to Miami, because-- I'm told by my mother-- I was an American citizen.

After that experience, I stayed away from Belize until my return some 34 years later in 1995. The visions of that terrible time has recently haunted me in light of the events currently befalling Belize. I saw houses flying in the air with people still in them. Death and destruction everywhere I turned. Water, wind and screams of despair.

Right now my thoughts are with the residents of Belize. I pray that they will not have to experience what I and the survivors of the last great hurricane to hit Belize endured. To those in Belize at the moment, try to prepare yourselves for the water. Beware of the water!!!!
Gary McDougall, Lieutenant
Information Services Section
USC Department of Public Safety
garymc@dpsm.usc.edu


Weather channel 9pm
N 16.3
W 86.0
Dir Stationary
Speed 100 MPH slowing again!
Pressure 28.53 or 966
Class Middle of the road 2
lets get those winds down to gusts to 10mph!

Found out this AM there is a good net on 14.325, haven't had a chance to get on yet. Things are being handled, and the less fingers in the pot the better. Nets with too many check-ins get unwieldly.

Message from Cayo on Wednesday:
The people have been great. Banding together and helping each other. The national security forces have decreed that no alcohol may be sold as of this morning. That is the most radical thing I have heard happen here. I'm not drinking, so it doesn't matter, but you know how big a part of the culture booze is here. They have also ordered people not to bring machetes, guns and such to the shelters. The police and BDF are visible and all is still calm. Owing to the generally genial nature of Belizeans, people are watching TV's, playing cards and dominoes and there is an atmosphere reminiscent of family reunions.

Weather Channel 8pm BT
N 16.3
W 86
Dir 280 Stationary
Speed 105 MPH
Pressure 28.53 or 966
Class 2

7:00 pm Punta Gorda
was calm with light wind and rain. People are allowed to leave the shelters during the day and told to return at night as a precaution. In Belize City , the road to the airport at Belle Vista was covered with water but passable if caution is taken. Tony commented that people have been praying and it seems that their prayers are being answered at least for now with the weakening of Mitch -- of course that meant that the Hondurans suffered the most so far. Tony said that people in Cayo seem to be doing fine according to news reports. it rained alot yesterday and there was some flooding but everyone seems to be ok today. Some people left P.G. to go up to Forest Home. The fisheries building in P.G. is also being used for a shelter in addition to the high school.

Apologies to the list member who doesn't like political sniping, but I just can't contain myself any longer, given my conversations with various US government folks yesterday.... how is it that while the US military and state dept. absolutely refused to send any boats or planes to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to help in the evacuation because of the "danger," the tiny Belizean defense force was able to send two planes and a boat to retrieve several US citizens, along with islanders wanting to evacuate and a bunch of looters needing transport to jail today (not to mention all the boats and planes they sent on Monday for the primary evacuation.....)

Guanaja
reports are that its flattened no trees no buildings nothing. Weather Channel Hype? after 24 Plus hours of pounding, I doubt they are far from the truth :-(

Weather Channel update 7pm BT
N 16.3
W 86
Dir 280 Stationary
Speed 105 MPH
Pressure 28.53 or 966
Class 2
Postioned near/on Guanaja and Roatan, HN Lots of rain in HN mountains causing flooding. GREAT NEWS is most of the winds in Mitch are BELOW tropical storm levels!!
!

Spoke with folks in Belmopan throughout the day. The capitol is packed and any new people arriving are being sent further inland to San Ignacio. Things are fairly calm as everyone is just waiting to see which way Mitch heads. They said the sun actually poked out for a few minutes this afternoon. A few people from the utility companies drove back to Belize City today to pick up more equipment supplies that may be needed. Belize City is getting rain, but no major flooding reported. BTL spent the day getting e-mail back up which is somewhat of a miracle considering the logistics involved.

In answer to a question on the website, the Belmopan airstrip is 2,000ft long by 50ft wide. However it is not really being considered as an option for landings. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has indicated it will give priority to the restoration of the International Airport if needed. It will be the first place to be restored if the hurricane strikes.

(I checked options for getting material there. If necessary, I'll be chartering a 60,000 lb capacity cargo plane, which makes Goldson Airport the only place it can land.)

San Pedro runway- The recent extension is 2050 feet by 60 feet wide, the old portion is approximately 1800 feet by 20 feet at its' narrowest and filled with patches.


Hurricane Update Monkey River
6pm est Position N 16* 3. W 86* 0...Winds are at 105mph and storm is stationary. 165 due east off the end of our dock.@ 89* bearing Bob's Paradise & Monkey River coordinates are N 16* 38 - W 88* 48.

Called Bob( 6pm est Wed )at our place and he said there are some swells but nothing major. a light rain was falling approaching nightfall. our cel phone system is still up so far... we make our own electric so that's not a problem so far..We are set up just a few feet from the ocean ,so if we get a high storm surge that will be all she wrote..as i mentioned before Bob id riding this one out at the resort..couldn't get a good reason why. i think the next 24 hrs will tell if Monkey River , P.G. and parts south will make it..

will get back to you all if i make contact with Bob or Martha @ the Monkey House..in the am Thur.


Regarding the current conditions of Mitch, I went back to the source (my Mother) and decided to ignore all the models and National Weather Service predictions for some indication on what path Mitch may take. Here' s the story (you old timers or those who remember the stories passed down by our grandparents): The old folks were warned of a majour hurricane (this is '61) and made some preparations. The rain and wind came, but did not materialised into what they had expected. Off course the warning system was a tad bit different than today, but nevertheless, as soon as the sun came out, it was business as usual. It wasn't until Monday afternoon (12 pm) that radio belize reported that Hattie was coming straight to Belize. The rest we all know. I am saying that History will repeat itself, but what I want to empathize is that we should take this one seriously and, until Mitch is weaken and heading North, then you can relax. As I'm hanging out in earthquake country, all I can do is send money and keep my extended family up to date.

Susan is right. Hurricane Mitch is meandering. In the last two hours it went offshore and is now overlapping the Honduras coast with it's most intense circulation. Up to 10 miles inland. It came back south in two hours since the last report.

Caye Caulker Report
7:20 p.m. Wednesday night.

Report from Caye Caulker, is that they ran out of frozen imported chicken. People have had to go back to eating lobster again.

For those of you without access to the hurricane websites: 7 PM EST report just in: Mitch has moved 1 point west (from 85.9 to 86.0) and one point south (from 16.4 to 16.3). So much for the predictions of swift movement north. Also, it has been downgraded to Category 2, with maximum winds of 105 MPH.

Marty, I linked your site to my www.belizeans.com web page if anybody would like to tell their family and friends about this important site. Rec'd a phone call from Lori in Belmopan. They have food and water and was heading out to a store. They would like to know what's going on with this storm. Everybody is anxious to get home. I told them the storm is still of Honduras, heading slowly west, and is still a strong category 3. Darren (darrens@prodigy.net)

Weather Channel 6PM BT
N 16.3
W 86.0
Dir 280 degrees W virtually stationary
Wind 105 Class 2
Pressure 28.53 or 966
Location: Western edge of Guanaja, HN
Wave action still pretty intense (level 4 intensity) as it takes time for waters to settle down. Waves as high as 40 feet high pounding Honduras coast. Waves 10-15 feet expected to lash central coast of Belize shortly.

San Pedro, 5:15pm Wed.
well.. i aint has stress like this ever!!! go stay go stay go stay..and now we are stuck...well we are here and looks like this baby is petering out off honduras..even if it comes at us.. 100-120 mile hr winds dont scare me too bad... 180-205 make me lose my pants..

BIG HUGE waves yesterday...taller than our houses out in front of us.. ..easy 30-35 ft tall breakin on the reef!

water only made it 40 ft up the beach..thank god for the high tres cocos reef water not even close to the hump of 3 cocos..only dock intact in 3 cocos is ours casue i busted out most of the boards at the last minute and packed em up to high ground..

havent been into town as we are rather isolated here..sounds like just the beach area is hit hard.. hope that is the most damage we will get

feel better today cause the signs here are good...20 mph winds out of north and blue skies pokin thru..not much rain and the tide is still real high but the monster waves are now 10-15 footers..i assume this is an indicator that the storm has died down quite a bit..condidering how close it is now..

they say it is gonna come straight to us which is good cause every track they pick is always wrong!

to me the storm looks 1/3 of the size that it was 36-48 hrs ago..those big waves came from the cat 5 status..makes you think about living on a sandbar

by the way.. the weather channel guys and the media do a little bit too much scare tactics..how about roatan got a 6 ft storm surge that washed over the island..well roatan has 600 ft hills over 90 % of the island mitch the killer hurricane..

just lookin at the cancun abc news report..high winds and big seas..hell it looked like it was blowin 25 mph and the ocean looked as rough as normal there...'people lining up to buy food in preparation'...(12 people at the teller - isnt that normal for a supermarket?)

anyhow.. time to go..back in touch later..

ps; next time a hurricane is out out there below 15 degrees.. am outa here early! center>


JANET ABERNATHY AT 770-717-5368 IS ATTEMPTING TO CO-ORDINATE MEDICAL RELIEF EFFORTS. Please get ahold of her if you want to contribute to an early relief mission. Doctors, nurses, and others are going along, so call her or email at: jenethy@aol.com if you want to participate or know others who would.

The BDF landed a Defender aircraft today and evacuated approximately 6 tourists from the island.

Two BDF boats arrived and managed to leave the island with more evacuatees and the looters. One of the boats had problems and was delayed with a search for oil.

Mr. Wayne Alfaro's home was broken into but the looters were caught and locked up.

The San Pedro Police Force under Mr. Orio has done a good job in controlling crime on the island.


Belizeans all over the nation should sleep well tonight. There is a possibility of storm surge and some flooding for Hunting Caye, Ranguana Caye, Sapoldilla Cayes, and for that area of coastline from Punta Gorda to Placentia by morning. But nothing else should disturb your sleep tonight. Go out and socialize, reassure the children and relax. Tonight should be a good sleep for those many thousands in the West.

If you are now second guessing your moving West, do not regret it for a moment. The Catastrophic Hurricane of Monday had gone off the scales and was literally a tornado about a 120 miles wide. If it had come ashore, there would be many dead and everything in it's path, chopped up into toothpicks. You made the right decision, now do not let impatience get the best of you. Sit it out tonight. Relax and sleep and we shall see what tomorrow brings. There is nothing going to happen before daylight tomorrow and you can get a good nights sleep. Good luck!

Sayonara
Ray Auxillou


5:10 p.m. BT, talked to Manuel Romero, manager at Serenity Resort in Placencia. Everything still calm, light rains off and on.

Speech from Patty Arceo
Speaking in San Pedro this evening-
1. Food & water supplies doing fine to this point.
2. Beach frontage 95% damaged.
3. Extensive erosion.
4. Storm surge still beating beach side.
5. Parts of town under 3-4 feet water.
6. Had either two planes or boat come to evacuate but islanders would not embark (not clear on her point here since she said two planes came but no one would embark boats????)
7. 2000 on island.
8. Looting and cops making arrests and taking care of situation effectively.

Hurricane Mitch Report 5:38 p.m.
Sunset is a short way away. With dark coming, you should know that while tracking reports show Mitch has moved to the West a few miles, the satellite photographs, show Mitch has moved northward and that the most intense kernal of the hurricane, with hurricane force winds are now free and clear of the mountainous Honduras coast. Lots of feeder bands over Honduras yet. But the Hurricane winds area, probably sixty miles in diameter I estimate, is now free and clear of Honduras and over open water once again. The mountainous ( 400 feet or so ) three Bay Islands are still under it though. Mitch is on the move!

Regular message board for AmbergrisCae.com at: http://AmbergrisCaye.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html is functioning again.

Just made contact with Ken St.Jean on Cay Caulker. Bright sunny day, lots of wind, just starting to get overcast again.

All the piers are gone, except for the very south end of island. About 110 people are still on the island, some staying overnight at the school building, others in town. Marin's Hotel sounds to be the eye of the party.

My friend reports that the evacuation on Tuesday was a fiasco, and only women and children were able to be boarded in very rough conditions.many who did want to leave were simply not able.

Reports of having to kill swimming crocodiles in order to reach the south end, (with a hammer)

They are down to lobsters again tonight, same as last night.


Charkes Leslie of San Pedro/ Houston is organizing a relief effort for those in need. Volunteers and aid are needed and you can call me 1-800-997-7378 or 1-281-528-7378 www.tambotours.com & chris@tambotours.com. We are also seeking assistance from our employer CONTINENTAL AIRLINES.

HURRICANE MITCH ADVISORY NUMBER 29
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
4 PM EST WED OCT 28 1998

...MITCH STILL POUNDING NORTHERN HONDURAS...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CARIBBEAN COAST OF HONDURAS...GUATEMALA...BELIZE...THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO FROM CABO CATOCHE SOUTHWARD...INCLUDING THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS OF THESE AREAS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS DANGEROUS HURRICANE.

AT 4 PM EST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MITCH WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 85.9 WEST OR VERY NEAR THE ISLAND OF GUANAJA...ABOUT 30 MILES NORTH OF THE COAST OF MAINLAND HONDURAS.

MITCH HAS BEEN DRIFTING WESTWARD OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. LITTLE OVERALL MOTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT...KEEPING THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE OVER OR VERY NEAR THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS OF HONDURAS. MITCH IS LIKELY TO REMAIN A THREAT TO THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 115 MPH...185 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME FURTHER WEAKENING IS POSSIBLE WHILE MITCH CONTINUES TO INTERACT WITH LAND.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES...165 KM... MAINLY NORTHEAST FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED FROM RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WAS 960 MB...28.35 INCHES.

RAINFALL TOTALS OF 15 TO 25 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS... ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF HONDURAS AND OTHER PARTS OF CENTRAL AMERICA. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

STORM TIDES OF 8 TO 12 FEET ABOVE NORMAL ASTRONOMICAL LEVELS ARE POSSIBLE NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HURRICANE...ACCOMPAN ED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES.

REPEATING THE 4 PM EST POSITION...16.4 N... 85.9 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...WEST NEAR 2 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 960 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 7 PM EST FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 10 PM EST.


Spoke to relative in Belmopan, said everything is calm just waiting, but the problem is lock of communication as to the whereabouts of Mitch. People are doing a great job of being hospitable to their fellow Belizeans.

Placencia, Lighthouse Atoll
Up until yesterday the only one still out there was Philip, my dad. My brother, Philip, went out in his boat to get him but he refused to come in!! I'm hoping some government boat may have gone by that way and forced him off the island. If anyone has any new news about him, please post it here as I am checking it every few minutes.

As of this morning Placencia has blue skies and everything was pretty calm. Everyone is holed up at different neighbors' houses waiting it out. I will talk to them later and pass on any new developments.


Ladyville, Placencia
Our e-mail was out for most of yesterday, just came in again?????? tv out since yesterday also Internet services stayed on so could follow Mitch.

Presently rain on-off/ wind 5-25/ sunny short periods/ river rising slowly/ skiffs and small boats hauled out/ most of belize evacuated/ no trees down so far. Reports from San Pedro are that most docks have been washed away, Placencia no damage, no reports from Turneffe.


The 4 PM EST report just came online. Mitch has moved 3 points west in the past three hours (from 85.6 to 85.9). No northward movement, still at 16.4 as it has been for the past two report periods (at least). This is a lot faster than it has moved in any direction for the last 24 hours. Strike probability for Belize was moved from 13 to 19 per cent at the same time (for whatever that's worth, probably not much..)

Is there any information about how St. Matthews has held up?

2:30 BZ time report from San Pedro I just talked to Einer Gomez, Nellie's brother (2:35 PM Belize time). Everything seems to be OK for now. The people who were staying at their house have returned home, at least temporarily. He said that the rain is intermittent and there has even been occasional bursts of sunshine. Wind is very low.

He reports that a couple of stores have re-opened and are fairly well stocked with supplies. He feels that there is ample food for the people who remain on the island for the next few days.

City water is off, but cisterns are full and still clean and free of debris, so the water is safe. Power is back on for most of town (some beachfront places have no power because of the damage to the docks and dive shacks.) Phones are working OK. They have been able to connect to the internet intermittently and have been checking www.ambergriscaye.com/hurricane.html and downloading info.

Patty Arceo stayed on the island and has been working nonstop since Sunday (she was just interviewed on the radio). They don't know if the Green Parrot folks are still on the island.

Mary Beissner of Casa Solana stayed; the rest of her family left. She is staying at Banyan Bay. Her property appears to be OK except for the white picket fence. Einer reported that nearly all the dive shops were able to save their equipment and boats, though their shacks and docks are gone. Police have arrested around 12 looters, they are on the job. They plan to send the looters to Belize City as soon as boat traffic resumes; meanwhile they are in the jail.

One piece of good news: Einer says that the storm seems to have deposited quite a bit of white sand onto the beach in some places. So when the water recedes, we may have more beach in some spots than we had before. In case any other Paradise Villas owners are on the net: Our condos are fine, no damage. The sea wall has held up and nobody got flooded, even the units closest to the water. The people of Ambergris Caye are incredibly brave, calm and organized!
That was from Susan Garcia, and I thank her once again ... Love, hugs, and tears, Marty


Wed, 28 Oct 1998 3:30pm
Patty Arceo is giving a speech on national radio right now and the estimates are that 2000 people are still in San Pedro Town.

Got supplies and water under control right now. Oct. 28, 1998 3:00pm BZ


Belize City, 4:18 pm
We drove around today. Strong winds (30mph) and steady light rain. The water has only risen about 1-2 feet, and has not gotten over the shoreline.

Police are regulary patrolling the city. We stopped at a local bar for a Beliken, bought some supplies at an open store, and filled up our gas tank at the one open station. Pretty quiet here.


I'm sure most of my friends in Cayo are busy hosting friends and family, and things are probably quite busy as a result. No doubt the liquor stores have run dry.

Our people at MET seem to be battening their hatches and trying to protect the horses and families living on the ranch. I haven't heard from Belize in a while so am wondering if they will be able to stay in touch even by email. Jim told Rolando to take down the antennas as soon as the winds begin to pick up so they can put them back up after the storm and get back in touch by radio, so they will only have the hand-held radios functional. I pray that the radio repeaters don't get wiped out.

I feel good that Rick Simpson is back in Belmopan. I know he is extremely busy keeping track of people and helping out, as usual, during stressful times. I consider him a hero for flying back to be in Belize where he can help, rather than just wringing his hands like I seem to be doing.


The National Weather Service is operating it's Amateur Radio Hurricane Watch on 14.325mhz and are requesting amateurs in Honduras, Belize, and other affected areas to make reports on this frequency during the day. I do not yet have the 80 meter frequency that will be in use at night.

Note: This frequency is only for weather and damage reports.


Does anyone know anything about the Essene Way at the north end of the Caye?I'm sure the boat dock's gone. Our group stayed at Paradise Villas. We ministered with Pasor Gonzales and the Assembly of Gd church there. Were they able to leave the island? if you know anyone at Lilly's please tell them hi from us. We are New Covenant Fellowship of Knoxville, TN.

Cayo
The airstrip is 3600 ft long and good gravel. It is surrounded on three sides by tall jungle and would require STOL aircraft for any heavy use. Having used it I see no reason why it should fail. It has good drainage.

By 2pm today, the GOB had organised relief supplies of food to be sent to the shelters in Cayo. Belmopan is reporting low water pressure and sanitation problems. Everyone seems to be very co-operative.


have spoken to relative in cayo at 2;25 ... weather was still calm... no flooding as yet . everybody seems to be fine. hotels are very overcrowded but all locals are trying to help .

Do you have any reports on the M.V. Wave Dancer or Lighthouse Reef Resort?

From Benque, 4:00pm Wed.
Main problem is FOOD! Lots of rain, light winds, short of food, everyone went west, and in a hurry, didn't bring enough supplies.

If relief groups bring aid to this country, bring rice, beans water, and fuel. The basics.


Peter here in Corozal -- no problems at all in this area except for rain and slight flooding. Chetumal is in great shape as well. There are the regular puddles in the streets. Nothing worse than an average rain. Definitly no 1 ft of water!!

Everyone has the hatches battened down -- now where is that hurricane??

It is a total disruption of all activity here in Belize; until the fat lady sings.


BTL IS BACK UP, email messages are getting through again!

I Just got a phone call from a lady who has been listening to his ham radio. He got the info for the international traffic net and the frequency is 14.280. You can get through to anybody on that.


Please have someone from the government instruct the Counselor General in California to contact the print or T.V. media with any vital information regarding the conditions in specifically Belize. They are inundating us with enough information on Cancun and Honduras, but no mention of Belize. The people are upset that they glide over the Country's name or broadswipe it by saying The Caribbean or Central American.

To those of you outside Belize, be advised that the e-mail is finally back on at 1pm today, after being off for 36 hrs. ( just when we need them !)
We could not send or download your messages.
Well done BTL !!!
In the west, the main problem is too many people in confined spaces with many without food, and the authorities are concerned about possible health problems arising.
So far, only minor flooding after two days of rain.

Everything at Lamanai Outpost in Orange Walk is okay. They have about 18 guests as well as researchers and staff hunkered down. So far they've only had a little rain but the lagoon is at the highest level they've seen since starting to build in1992 with the water covering the new pier. Telephone service if fine at this time and everyone sends their best to friends all over the country. This is coming from Ellen Howells in St. Pete Florida. I've said a few prayers for everybody in Belize and know everyone will ride it out in their usual style. **Please tell Bruce and Charlene to hang in there...it's just like another old blow out at Lighthouse! ** Does anyone know if Pete and Phillip were evacuated from Sanbore Caye on the Lighthouse Atoll???????

Woody Canaday of the Corona Del Mar Hotel reports weather has calmed some, for now. They are taking advantage of the lull in storm strength to prepare for the next round should Mitch again turn North. The hotel has lost it's pier but all structures are still intact.

Cayo is packed with people fleeing the storm. I wasn't feeling apocalyptic until I talked with my Spanish friends who live on the Western Highway. They are heading to Flores, Guatemala to weather the storm, but they outlined a doomsday scenario for this place if a asskicker of a storm hits. The hurricane itself may not be too bad, in Cayo at least. But this country, that can't get it together under normal circumstances, if devastated by a natural disaster, will really be a mess. No food, water or power for weeks. Ai, ai, ai! But, they did assure me that "bicho malo, nunca muere" (the bad bug never dies). God willing it will dissipate before it gets here. It's looking more and more like that may happen.

Got a hold of Patty Arceo on the San Pedro and she sounded desperate and disappointed at the same time as the results of the final evacuation from the island seem grim.

Planes will not head to the island and the boats cannot make it due to the debris as pointed out before


I am in Belize City. So far we have experienced low winds, and NO flooding. We drove around this morning, everything is closed and the remaining residents seem calm.

San Pedro has lost its docks. The Blue Dolphin's is two-thirds gone, Capricorn's is still standing.


The latest tracking data moved the track again to the east, and it misses San Pedro, hits further up the Yucatan. It seems that to extrapolate path from data is a little off on this one, probably cause it is moving so slow....

10:12 am Wednesday, San Pedro
There has been a calm in the winds and rain but the surge still remains.

Spoke to some relatives from Caye Caulker who did an exhaustive and risky evacuation from the sister island after water levels rose over 3 feet in their homes and the rest of the island.


does anyone know the conditions in mango creek???

If you have any news on the Windjammer Fantome, please pass it along. Last we heard he was sailing south trying to run from storm. Only captain and crew aboard..passengers flown out of Belize on charter yesterday.
ASANDCRAB@aol.com

Finally received information concerning Tobacco, said entire island was evacuated - so report of damage if any...but glad all are safe...also said Dangriga looks like a ghost town, most all have evacuated to higher grounds.

Just spoke to my mom in Belmopan. Everybody is just sitting tight. The weather looks weird but not like a hurricane is about to hit. As far as she knows, relief efforts are not fully organized. I gave her the web address and she will call and give it to LOVE FM. Apparently, LOVE FM is doing a pretty good job of keeping everyone informed.

After that terrifying panic all day Monday, with a Hurricane that had exceeded the highest category 5 and there was no higher and still getting stronger. Turning for all intensive purposes into a 120 mile wide Tornado, todays reduction to Category 2, or 3, makes it seem like a nice day to go sailing in Belize with a good stiff strong wind, under Storm jib and storm trysail. Everything is relative.

Mitch may even breakup over Honduras. All things are possible.


Cabanas are taking a beating at Corona del Mar, but are still structurally sound. Everyone is working hard to save what they can. Just talked to Helen - for only a second. Things are a little calm and they're using this time to keep moving things upstairs to "minimize" the damage. Haven't talked to her since we made our reservations - but my god, she is one strong lady. They have moved, too, to the Spindrift.

My name is Mike Patterson and I live on Ambergris Caye, where my wife is a medical student. Although we left just before the storm, we hope to return. I have cleaned up after hurricanes and earthquakes. My mother-in-law saw your request for help and I would like to offer my services. Current plans make it possible for me to return as soon as Sunday (November 1, assuming the availability of flights). The following is an outline of what needs to be done and a priority for those items.

1. Rescue of the injured/stranded.
a. The personal safety of all people in town and surrounding areas.
b. Water and food for survival of all personnel

2. Resumption of services.
a. Security. A police/military presence to prevent looting and related problems.
b. Water/sewer. As the water was shut off on Monday morning, this may be a major issue.
c. Electricity. Lines will need to be cleared, repaired, and then energized.
d. Telephone. Blocking should be applied so that calls can be placed to other areas, without everyone looking for loved ones calling in for information. 3. General clean up.
a. Removal and disposal of damaged buildings, contents, and other "trash". 4. Repair of the repairable. That's the simple version of what needs to be done. The problem that I perceive is that there has been no preparations made for hurricanes or other types of disasters. Therefore, no plan to provide for the possibilities. Small things, like gasoline or operators for the equipment that can repair the electrical lines, may not be available and thus stop the process of restoration. These are the things that need to addressed, today, by the people via the government so that life as we know it can be restored as quickly as possible.


Got through to and Spoke with Windy Hill Resort in Cayo District. They have no problems weatherwise. Hotel is full. Quite a few persons from the Cayes. The tourists staying there are considering going to Flores and then back to USA from Guatemala City.

Just spoke with Cy Young at Jaguar Paw. They are in pretty good shape up there. Phones, electricity and Satellite TV working. They have about 30 persons taking refuge there ... about 20 of them from San Pedro. Cy Young will be faxing the names to us in New York shortly and we will pass them onto you as soon as we get the fax. We have been trying to get through to Windy Hill Resort, but no answer. Possibly a problem with the phone lines.

Awesome satellite shot from the GOES-8 at: http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goes8camexir.html

Wendy Auxillou
Spoke with Tina on the phone today. She is housed in Ladyville. She says that she is bored stiff from being indoors for the past thirty-six hours. The sun is shining, and she wishes to go out to Caye Caulker. However, they have BDF and security everywhere. No one is allowed to leave the Hurricane shelters, as they are being told that it is not yet safe. Even though she would like to go to Caye Caulker, the boats or airplanes are still in storage and there are no scheduled lifts. However, people in Caye Caulker keep calling the radio station (cannot get through to Caye Caulker by phone), and their announcements have mostly been that all the over-the-water structures on the front of the island are down, but no reports have come so far of any buildings down or damaged in Caye Caulker.

Dad says Patty Arceo is trying to organize another evacuation of the remaining residents but no word yet whether it will be by boat or plane, etc.

The seas are dangerous for navigation right now with all the debris but the winds and rains have come to a stop and the sun shone a little earlier today.


Tues 11:30 est just got off the phone with Martha @ The Monkey House Resort. our sister resort.. they are about 500yds north of the Monkey River on the Caribbean coastline..

Martha's report: Winds calm. Sunny Water level is up but not doing any damage yet..no wind.... gave her the coordinates and windspeed info. Martha is called jungle lady at the river, or just J.L.

I was there all last week and the weather was great with talk about a possible hurricane..Picked up a book at the Miami airport called The Perfect Storm ( author Junger )and read it while i was there. gave to Martha but se left it at our place..what a book

Martha told me that some of the Monkey River residents elected to stay in the village..while i was there last week the shoreline was already up to most the oceanside houses. don't think they will take much more beach erosion. i wish them luck....and more.


Spoke to David from Coconuts this am (9 pst), the sun is out (partly cloudy) and some power is back on. Everyone with them is safe and have been in contact with their folks in Europe and the States. I gave him the latest news from our National Hurricane Center and they will just wait and see. No flights to the Cayes are planned for today and off course the water taxis are O/S. I hope this storm just continues to ciruculate and like the old "tops" we use to play with, it may just weaken to a regular storm, which is a lot better than a CAT 3.

Latest forecast has Mitch hitting north of Ambergris Caye, sliding up the Yucatan, instead of coming up west of Ambergris Caye.

Residents and visitors on the Caribbean Coast of Guatemala, Belize and Mexico are waiting to see what Hurricane Mitch will do, according to live reports via the Internet and telephone and from weather and news services.

As of mid-day Wednesday, Mitch had stalled over the North Coast of Honduras. The National Hurricane Center in Miami put the center at or near 16.4N 85.6W at 10 a.m., with no current movement. Maximum sustained winds had dropped to 105 knots, with gusts up to 130 knots.

As many as 20 people have been reported killed in the storm so far. Reports are that the Honduras Bay Islands have received considerable damage from the storm, especially the island of Guanaja. Docks and some seafront buildings reportedly have been lost on Roat½n.

Once an ultra-powerful Category 5 storm, Hurricane Mitch has weakened further to a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the U.S. National Weather Service, but the storm still packs a dangerous wallop. Its future course is uncertain, forecasters say, but some models put it moving slowly toward northern Belize or the Yucat½n on Friday or Saturday.

People in the area still fear high winds and possible storm surges which could literally bury offshore islands in the Caribbean Sea. Veterans of past Central American killer storms took no chances and evacuated cayes and low- lying coastal areas.

As early as Sunday, feeder bands from Mitch raised storm surges on many of Belize‰s 400 offshore islands. Front Street on Caye Caulker, an island with a population of around 1,500, flooded, prompting locals to move quickly to get off the low-lying island. Water taxi owners had their hands full taking people to the mainland. On Tuesday, reports from Caulker were that parts of the island were now under water, with about one-third of the residents having decided to ride out the storm at home.

As of late Tuesday afternoon Belize time, most of the docks in San Pedro had been lost to wave action, including those with dive shops, according to eyewitness reports. The Tackle Box bar, on a pier, reportedly was breaking up. San Pedro‰s narrow beaches already have been badly eroded by the water. Electric power was off in most areas of the island by late Tuesday, but some telephones were still in service.

Only tropical storm force winds have been felt on Belize‰s cayes so far, according to best available reports. Damage has been from heavy wave action and high seas.

Residents of Sarteneja and other areas of northern Belize also were told to evacuate to safer inland areas. Channel 7 television in Chetumal, Mexico, has been providing regular reports on the storm‰s progress.

In Belize City early Wednesday, no severe weather was reported. Power was still on in many areas, although telephone service was spotty. Most of the city‰s 75,000 residents had left for Belmopan and points west, but a significant number of people opted to remain in the city. A traffic jam and rain slowed drivers headed west. The government has commandeered all buses in the country to ferry people inland for free.

In Southern Belize, on Tuesday residents and tourists were reported leaving the Placencia peninsula.

Residents of the Bay Islands, including Roatan, along with low-lying coastal areas and flood-prone zones of Honduras also were ordered evacuated. President Carlos Flores Facusse sent in troops to evacuate people from villages on the sparsely populated North Coast. However, Honduras, one of the Western Hemisphere‰s poorest nations, does not have the resources to evacuate and protect all those in danger areas.

As of Wednesday, thousands of tourists in Cancun were being prepared for evacuation, according to press reports. As many as 25,000 tourists are in Cancun during a typical day this time of year.

Reports from the Caribbean Coast on Monday and Tuesday indicated that there is great concern but no widespread panic. In Belize, as many as 60,000 people were trying to get to higher ground in western Belize. Some gas stations in Belize reportedly have run out of gas and diesel fuel, and hotels in the interior are full. Many groceries and shops had shelves stripped bare of basic supplies by worried shoppers.

As of mid-day Tuesday, Belize‰s international airport was closed. TACA reportedly had added additional flights out of Belize City on Monday, and Continental used larger equipment. The U.S. Embassy chartered a special flight to get U.S. citizens out of the country before the storm arrived.

The Belize and Honduras governments appear to be doing what they can to protect the lives both residents and tourists. Evacuations so far have been orderly.


Wednesday 9:55 am BT
We have been in contact with friends in the Stann Creek valley (mile 16). Lots of rain but not much winds, crop (citrus) has not been damaged. Dangriga town has been evacuated.

Hi All, at 8am i talked to my partner Bob.. he stayed at Bob's Paradise with his wife ,her 18 yr. son and her friend..of course lets not leave out our two labs...all other Monkey river residents ( except for Sam & Martha ! staying at there resort also ) have made for Mango Creek... First our coordinates at our resort are N 16* 38 W 88* 48.. or at this time 120miles from our place.. almost directly east of us.. to be more precise ( my GPS ) 87* on the compass.

Reports from Bob..Rainy , not much wind yet... he told me the water is up to the Tiki bar ,which means another few inches it will flood our ground area. we are on a peninsula with the black river only 400 yds west of us..probable wil be total flooding.

this storm ,when it starts to roll again looks like it will head to our coordinates ,although to early to tell.. it seems it wil avoid our barrier reef which is still north about 50 miles.. not good.

if it looses a little more strength we can handle the wind ,except for the roofs. when the sea rises and the waves start then who knows.


With a focus on Cancun and the So. US, the CNN hurricane center meterologist (Rose Stabler[sp?]) said that Mitch is projected "to cross over Belize City" and move across Mexico into the Bay of Campeche.... While she is speaking, the center of the spinning icon crosses over the bright red dot labelled as Belize City. No specific timeline was given. By now we all know that the hurricane is weakening. Hopefully this trend will continue. It has gone from 180 to 120 MPH winds in 24 hours. But, with "higher gusts". Coordinates are at 16.4 N by 85.6 W. It is "nearly stationary" at 50 miles off the coast of Honduras. Source: all cnn

Wed. 9:43 am BT
Well, it's a beautiful sunny day. Sun is bright and looting has started in the outlying areas. Serious erosion from Boca del Rio to high school, sand eroded away is building up to the south of that area. No home damages.

If people are wondering about the southern Caribbean islands (Cayman etc.) or maybe Honduras and the Yucatan check out this website: http://www.gobeach.com/hurr.htm

HAM OPERATORS:
You might try to get a hold of Smitty on Caye Chaple. He has a very good ham setup. or you can try in the 80 meter band 3.500 to 3750. In the 40 meter band try 7000 to 7150. In the 20 meter band try 14000 to 14150. In the 17 meter band try 18.o88 to 18110. In the 15 meter band try 21000 to 21200.

If Smitty is still alive on Chaple he would be your best connection. He also monitors vhf. Give him a call.


A 'Thank You' is be in order for those fools who volunteer to leave their families to fly tiny little planes into class 5 hurrincanes to keep us supplied with what information we have. Very brave men and women. Bless them and keep them safe.

1pm BT
...MITCH POUNDING RELENTLESSLY THE COAST AND ISLANDS OF HONDURAS...

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CARIBBEAN COAST OF HONDURAS...GUATEMALA...BELIZE...THE YUCATAN PENINSULA OF MEXICO FROM CABO CATOCHE SOUTHWARD...INCLUDING THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS OF THESE AREAS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF THIS VERY DANGEROUS HURRICANE.

AT 1 PM EST...1800Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MITCH WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 85.6 WEST OR ABOUT 25 MILES ...35 KM...EAST OF THE ISLAND OF GUANAJA...AND ABOUT 30 MILES...50 KM...NORTH OF THE COAST OF MAINLAND HONDURAS.

MITCH REMAINS NEARLY STATIONARY AND LITTLE MOTION IS EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT. THIS MEANS THAT THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE WILL CONTINUE TO BATTER THE COAST AND NEARBY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS. MITCH IS LIKELY TO REMAIN A THREAT TO THE ENTIRE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS...OR LONGER.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 120 MPH...195 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. MITCH REMAINS A DANGEROUS HURRICANE...CATEGORY 3 ON THE SAFFIR/SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE. SOME WEAKENING IS POSSIBLE WHILE MITCH CONTINUES TO INTERACT WITH LAND.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 105 MILES...165 KM... MAINLY NORTHEAST FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 948 MB...27.99 INCHES.

RAINFALL TOTALS OF 15 TO 25 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS... ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF HONDURAS AND OTHER PARTS OF CENTRAL AMERICA. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

STORM TIDES OF 8 TO 12 FE T ABOVE NORMAL ASTRONOMICAL LEVELS ARE POSSIBLE NEAR THE CENTER OF THE HURRICANE...ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES.


GOVERNMENT LOOKS AT SHELTER CONDITIONS
Minister of National Security Jorge Espat was interviewed on nationwide radio this morning and said that Government is assessing the situation in shelters. "We have asked the Chairman of the Foods Committee, if I may call him so, Permanent Secretary Roy Bowen, to go into the shelters, along with the Police and B.D.F., and give us an assessment of the conditions inside the shelters," said Minister Espat. He said Government wants to be sure there is enough food for the people in the shelters. He said he visited some of the shelters in Belmopan last night, and while he would have liked to have seen them in better condition, "I think it is a lesson, and those who are charged with the responsibility, must take that responsibility seriously, especially when it comes to protecting the lives of Belizeans. Under these conditions, Belizeans have been honourable throughout, and we want to assure them that we are going to do everything we can to improve the conditions at those shelters that require improvement." Minister Espat stressed that while the immediate threat to Belize appears to have lessened, no one should leave the shelters now. He pointed out that Hurricane Mitch remains a very dangerous storm and a threat to the entire area, including Belize.

NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER WARNS "THREAT NOT OVER"
The threat to Belize from Hurricane Mitch has diminished, but has not ended. That was the message this morning from Minister of National Security Jorge Espat, who said the time is not yet right to tell the people in shelters to return to their homes. "The danger is still there," said Espat, "Let us not be lulled into a false sense of security. We must remain in our shelters. We must remain on high ground. We must continue to listen to the radio stations, to listen to the official weather reports and press releases." Prime Minister Said Musa is on an official visit to the Republic of China, Tawiwan, and we aske Minister Espat if the Prime Minister is being kept updated on the situation in Belize. "In fact, we spoke late last night," said Espat, "and he's been briefed again today. He would much prefer to be in Belize."

GOVERNMENT STOPS LIQOUR SALES
The Government of Belize issued a statement this morning that reads: The Government of Belize has ordered that it is now unlawful to sell liqour in the Country of Belize. This order is made pursuent to Section 26 of the Intoxicating Liqour Licencing Act. Any person violating this order is liable to prosecution and if found guilty subject to a fine. Compliance with this or order will be closely monitored and strictly enforced by the Police and the Belize Defence Force.


Distances being what they are, people could probably go home, that have cars for an overnight. But ready to leave again if necessary.

The storm is steadily coming down. Once it drops below 120 mph, most everybody could go home. Would be bad, but not catastrophic. The mountains of Honduras are chewing it up.

It is sitting over Guanaja. If Guanaja is still surviving, then it is not that bad. This place is a little man made island of compact built wood frame houses, a few hundred yards off the shore of Roatan. Height above sea level about 3 or 4 feet. Inside the reef, if I remember correctly from my cruising days.

There is the danger that coming the 200 miles to Belize over open water it would accelerate again. Decisions, decisions!


10:10 am Wed.
Big Daddy's pier is just hanging on, some of the dive shops aree now in town! Minor looting in houses. River is completely flooded. Lots of folks from San Pedro are in Orange Walk, its a regular San Pedro party.

Mike Hazeltine-Fitzgerald, owner of Seine Bight Hotel, at 9:15AM CST today says the Placencia Peninsula has been evacuated. But so far, except for an abnormal-looking sea, there isn't much to report. He does say the sale of alcoholic beverages is bad!! Mike says there is an article coming out soon in the New York Times about Seine Bight, so maybe some big-time attention will be attracted for help.

Marty, I emailed CNN & MSNBC to inform them about your site. You might want to encourage others to do so, because these two major news services are where most Belizeans will log on to.

I personally called NBC network to put pressure on them to give us more info. They basically said, if the hurricane hits and Belize becomes obliterated then it will become headline news.

I checked in with Larry Thorpe, house on beach just north of river. Everything OK. Power out, Radio Belize working. Damage limited to dock and pier. No water approaching house. They have not been able to reach Stewart and Beverly from Green Parrot either. Taff & Rose Elliott are OK, staying at Royal Palm. Been calling Nellie Gomez, but her line has been busy. I gave them updates on latest hurricane coordinates and the projections (which have been wrong for the last two days, hope they stay wrong..)

I finally got through to Nellie. She reports that Pescador Drive still has power. Power was shut off on the beach streets because of many downed poles which create a danger. However, her brothers and some other people from the organizing committee in San Pedro are now trying to turn the power back on during the day. People will be going out a bit later to survey the town and she told me to call back in a few hours to get a more detailed report. Everyone is OK at her house. San Pedro seems to be doing a good job of organizing. Phone service still working OK.

Along drive on Northern Highway from Corozal to Int'l Airport. Tuesday Folks were boarding up, and Rivers rising from high tide, gas stations line in Orange Walk out into the street, Orange Walk was boarding up, entire drive had people chopping large trees around their homes to prevent them fronm falling on their homes. Held the last few planes yesterday, the TACA plane left with the Embassy charter flight to Miami. Airport appeared empty at that time. Airport was closed right as plane pulled away. Traffic packed.

Evacuation was in progress. 8:33 a.m. BT
The beach frontage of San Pedro is gone and the winds and rains have slowed down. The storm surge is still impressive and folks who were stranded on the island keep accessing the damages. Got a word that some looting was taking place but the Police force was doing a good job in keeping that matter in order.

6 a.m. BT
Just finished talking with Beto Marin from San Pedro. Currently the seas and winds have calmed. Only significant damage thusfar is beach erosion and loss of piers and dive shops. There has been only scattered damage to beach front homes, but the majority of homes are intact. The residents are expecting the storm to turn toward them, and they are preparing for the worst scenario. It has been suggested that any aid to the island be directed through either the San Pedro Lions Club or San Pedro Town Board via Mr. Alberto Nuenez, Mayor, and officer of the San Pedro Lions Club.

Spoke to Esmeralda in Ladyville at the 11 1/2 Mile point. Rain is getting heavy and the breeze (wind) is picking up. People staying at Technical College had to be evacuated because of flooding at 2 ft. She opened her house as a shelter and has fifty people staying with her. No flooding in her area as of yet, but the road to Airport Camp is flooded.

What is the condition of the Belmopan airstrip? Is it gravel? I believe it is 3600 ft long. Can it handle jet planes, turbo jets, or what? We need to know the estimated size of the crowds in the west and where they are? Two drops of chlorax in a gallon of water will purify it. There is a danger of cholera if people will use Roaring Creek. Not withstanding that sucker can rise 20 feet in minutes if rains come heavy in the mountains. Is anyone forming a soup kitchen? The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the GOB? Can the British Army setup field kitchens at Belmopan and wherever necessary in the Cayo District? We have several days here to get though. Do not want to interfer with established procedures for this emergency, but if they are deficient, or breakdown, there is no reason we cannot fly in emergency stuff from outside the country. Get us some reports out of the West.

Spoke to Larry Thorpe's wife last evening on the island, lots of rain, heavy wind, phones are up.

Alright you volunteers. Job for some of you this morning.

Need reports out of Belmopan and Cayo district.

Estimates are 60,000 people went west.

Telephone your friends, or relatives in these localities and spend a couple of bucks and put it on the list.

Want to know the numbers estimated. Sanitation, living conditions, water supply. Does the GOB have portable toilets? Is there water tank trucks, or how are people getting water to drink? What kind of shelter? Are there provisions being brought in from the port Belize City in the form of food supplies? Who is doing it? Where? How is it being organized and by who?

Get us some information, quick!

The international community are watching and waiting.

Those of you who can phone Reuters, CNN or anyone else you can think of. Get this web site address out and around:
. http://AmbergrisCaye.com/hurricane/


7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Day Three of the Hurricane Emergency
To the volunteers on this list and the many people around the world who have been helping with reports on conditions around Belize, a heartfelt thankyou.

We have a breather of a day, maybe two here. It is time to organize something better. What Marty has done has been a slapdash emergency thing under emergency, imminent disaster conditions. But right now, we have a small window of opportunity and breather. I would ask all volunteers on this list to contribute some volunteer assistance in whichever way they can.

Marty Casado by the way is the Ambergris Caye Com web man, who has many thousands of pages on the internet for businesses in Belize. He is also responsible for many hundreds of hours of donated volunteer time in work with our Belize Development Trust, in Dangriga. Not least is the Belize Electronic Resource and Development Library. For those that do not know. Marty lives in Eugene, Oregon and runs his web page business in Belize as well as his restaurant there. He is of good heart and done a great deal over the last three years voluntarily for Belize in this new wonderful communications age. This current Emergency Web site is just one more thing.

It is time to take this window of opportunity to organize. What we have done in a slapdash manner, needs to get more organized for IF and when that darn Mitch hits Belize, whereever.

1) Need anyone who knows anyone within, or outside of Belize, who communicates in anyway with someone in Belize, to find out local conditions. This will become more important, if Mitch hits the country. Road washouts, bridges out, floods, houses down. We need up to minute accurate reports. Eye witness accounts in as much detail as possible. Particularly during and immediately after the disaster.

2) I have been on the Caribbean Ham Radio Emergency nets for years, but not in the last dozen. Eyewitness reports are the basis for which government officials and international bodies base their estimates of aid and emergency relief. The Website is now going to become the Official Emergency Website for Belize Hurricane Disaster Relief, should it be needed. Already, the USA Hurricane Center are monitoring it. And the State Dept. and the Pentagon. It is the best game in town.

3) Your help and assistance by inputting all the data you can get from eyewitness is crucial. I hope that even Said Musa our Prime Minister has had somebody from Belmopan phone him and tell him the http address. Which by the way is http://AmbergrisCaye.com/hurricane/

4) Those in Belize, or anyone knowing someone in Government in Belize who can phone them. Do so and tell them the address. It would also be imperative that the High School computer labs open their labs to government officials in each district of the country. Belize is an internet deprived country, with a financially prohibited pricing policy. Making this communication system rare within the country of Belize. Government officials in each district and town leaders need to know what is going on, elsewhere in the country. At the present the telephone is doing this. But the internet is good and even better as there is a written record to go back on and research. So I ask that anyone who can and does know government people in any district, in Belmopan, or emergency committees, advise them of the Web site address.

http://AmbergrisCaye.com/hurricane/
For those without internet access but do have e-mail. Please place your reports on this list serve. The Belize Culture Net. EMail address: bz-culture@psg.com. Marty will pick it up from here and post it to the web site. Those of you already monitoring the web site, can either post information here, or telephone Marty direct. His phone number is on the web site. If you can, post it here and it will get picked up and transferred.

5) Traditionally, the US Army, the British Army, the US Navy, the British Navy are the ones to come into a disaster area. Anyone on this list in the USA, or England that has numbers for the Caribbean Command of either of these countries, are asked to phone all and sundry and give out the web site information. Do it by e-mail, or telephone, but get the web site address to these various officials. The more the merrier. Reuters, CNN and other media would also be helpful.

We have a breathing space here, let us use it today.

6) The information incoming to the list here, or the web site can then be used by these post disaster rescue teams, to more ably calculate what they might need. From temporary generators, medical teams, heavy bulldozer equipment, or any other type of assistance.

7) Government officials, particularly in the Districts are notoriously internet ignorant. Informing them that they can go to their local high school computer lab and get up to date information on how conditions are elsewhere will be a big help to everybody. So phone school officials, local elected officials and such is a big thing. You know someone and you are out of the country, try and get through today and tell them the web site address and how to get it off the internet at their local high school computer lab.

8) Word of mouth is important. Spread the word. That means not just someone else. It means YOU!

9) Tomorrow, or the next day may be too late. Utter disaster could be the order of the day and chaos. A stable core of reliable communication will be the key to many things and improve things tremendously.

So I ask you volunteers this morning. Read this! Consider who you can telephone or inform about the website, or for current conditions on the ground and report it to this list. Do your part today, we have a chance to get better organized than any other Caribbean country ever hit with this magnitude of impending disaster. It will make a big difference in the short and long term.

thankyou
Ray Auxillou, Trustee, Belize Development Trust, Dangriga, Belize


Apparently BTL's POP3 server is out. Nothing is coming in. You can ping wgs1.btl.net but the server refuses a connection. Corozal.com still online, everything OK there this morning.

4am BT Wed.
managed to track these freq down- now I wish I had a radio to use....
14325
3950

My family owns and operates BIBR on Roatan. Last report as of 930pm yesterday was that things looked good in Sandy Bay. Lots of wind and rain. Docks were starting to break up. Anthony's key lost their rooms on Bailey's Kay. Reports from other places around the island are much less encouraging. West End, Mangrove Bight, Punta Gorda all have significant damage. Word from Guanaja is pretty bad- this thing has been sitting on top of them now for the better part of a day. If you subscribe to the Hondo1 list, reports are coming through there from people in touch with ham radio operators.


One of the things to come out of this so far. Is that since Monday, none of the many Hurricane computer tracking models out of the USA for forecasting have been any good. They all have been incorrect and unreliable. While it might be an academic excercise to those people in North America, in this day of instant internet communications, these predicting models that have been forecast both on the internet and television has caused some serious re-thinking in the Caribbean countries. Since these models and forecasts from the USA have been used to make life and death decisions for tens of thousands of people in my country of Belize alone. The expense alone is in the millions and wrong decisions based on these forecasts has put thousands unprepared into harms way. It might be better for the Government of Belize to recommend that when these computer models are contradictory, or unsure, that the USA Weather Channels refrain from using these model predictions. There are circumstances in the Eastern Caribbean Sea were they are very accurate. But since Monday, the false tracks and reports have caused considerable mess in the planning and facilitation of disaster programs, at least in Belize.

I note Wednesday early, they are no longer forecasting a track. Which is better than a forecast on which people make decisions that could be wrong on harmful data. Something to consider in all this.


Conditions in Belize as of 12:00 am BT Wednesday Rain, Rain and more Rain. Not much activity other than sharing homes with friends and family, the Belizean way. They expect some flooding tomorow, but if everyone stay inland, we should not have a repeat of '61. Phone and power is still on in Ladyville, which is good news for now.

LA CEIBA, Honduras (AP), 12:15AM Wednesday - Hurricane Mitch cut through the western Caribbean on Tuesday, pummeling coastal Honduras and Belize with driving rain and fierce winds that snapped trees and sent thousands of people fleeing for higher ground. At least 11 storm-related deaths were reported.

Honduran President Carlos Flores Facusse declared the highest state of alert and sent in troops to evacuate thousands of people from villages on the sparsely populated coast. Thousands more made their way to safer ground on their own.

Most of the population of Belize City fled inland in cars and government buses, while tourists rushed to find ways out of the Mexican resorts of Cancun and Cozumel.

Mexico's state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, announced it had cut crude oil output in the Gulf of Mexico in face of the hurricane threat.

At 1 a.m., Mitch was 35 miles north of the Honduran coast - about 80 miles northeast of this coastal city, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 60 miles from the center.

"Hurricane conditions are spreading onshore over Honduras and the adjacent Bay Islands," the center said. "Ham radio reports indicate significant damage on the island of Roatan" off the coast.

Winds dropped from 180 mph to near 140 mph, reducing Mitch from a Category 5 to a Category 4 storm, one category below the most powerful. But the 350-mile- wide storm remained very strong - and dangerous.

Mitch appeared to have stalled late Tuesday after moving west-southwestward roughly parallel to the coast for much of the day. But the center said it was expected to resume a slow, generally westward movement on Wednesday.

The storm's slow speed made the hurricane's path especially unpredictable, forecasters said.

Forecasters earlier said the most likely track would carry Mitch into central Belize by early Thursday, though some models showed it could veer southwest, northwest or even northeast if it slows further.

"With that kind of range of possibilities, we're not going to try to pin down anything about where it's going," said meteorologist Jack Beven at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Earlier in the day, when Mitch's 180 mph winds made it a Category 5 storm, the U.S. National Weather Service said only three Atlantic storms were stronger - Gilbert in 1988, Allen in 1980 and the Labor Day hurricane of 1935.

Strong winds bent palm trees along the Honduran coast Tuesday, and heavy rain caused at least four rivers to overflow their banks. The entire coast of Honduras was under a hurricane warning, and up to 20 inches of rain was forecast in mountainous areas.

The government reported at least three deaths. The Red Cross in neighboring Nicaragua said eight people died there due to flooding due to Mitch's rains.

In La Ceiba, on the western Honduran coast, residents fled to shelters set up in schools and fire stations on higher ground. The area has the sea to the north, the Cangrejal River to the east and a creek to the west.

Fisherman Manuel Padilla said he wanted to evacuate with his three children but authorities had not told him where the shelters were located.

"Nobody has come to see us," he complained. "They've forgotten us."

Still, hundreds of people waded through knee-deep waters to safety. At one fire station shelter, about 150 people huddled in the damp, with no dry blankets or other protection. Some brought pets, including five parrots.

Blanca Almeida Ramirez, 22, said she and her three children fled early Tuesday when water began to seep into her wooden house. "The wood is all rotten inside," she said. "I couldn't stay any longer."

The head of the Honduran armed forces, Gen. Mario Hung Pacheco, said 5,000 soldiers were deployed to help victims of the storm.

Five villages in the northeastern province of Gracias a Dios were cut off by flooding, but police evacuated all 2,000 residents before the rivers rose, said national police chief Col. Anael Perez. Two other villages were cut off by fallen trees.

In El Progreso, 100 miles north of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, the army evacuated more than 5,000 people who live in low-lying banana plantations along the Ulua River, said resident Nolly Soliman.

Two brothers, Misael and Rainel Juares, were electrocuted Monday when they tried to take a television antenna down from their roof in the village of Jutiapa, near La Ceiba.

Early Tuesday, the storm passed almost directly over the tiny Swan Islands, Honduran outposts used in the 1980s as a U.S. radar station and radio base for broadcasts to Cuba. Authorities said the military base lost its roof, but the five soldiers posted there were unhurt because they took refuge in nearby caves.

Belize residents weren't taking any chances. Stores and banks were closed in Belize City and almost all the city's 75,000 residents were fleeing by car or bus to higher ground.

A huge traffic jam - and a heavy rain - slowed drivers headed to Belmopan, the Belizean capital built after Belize City itself was destroyed by Hurricane Hattie in 1961.

All gas stations in Belize City had run out of gasoline, but the government commandeered all buses in the country to run 24 hours a day, ferrying people inland for free.

The government also ordered the total evacuation of Ambergris Cay, an island in the north of the country that is home to many Americans and Europeans. Residents were fleeing on water taxis and military planes, authorities said.

And farther north in Mexico, tourists in Cancun and Cozumel prepared for the worst. Long lines formed at the airport and authorities made plans to evacuate tens of thousands of tourists if the hurricane gets closer.

Vacationer Allison Chapman of North Devon, England, said she had been waiting at the airport for five hours.


For those interested in up-to-date local conditions in the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Jamaica and Cancun go to: www.gobeach.com/hurr.htm

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