CEMO making first assessments and disbursements
And while Richard left our shores, it is going to take a while before the lives of those affected will return to normalcy. To help the many thousands in Belize City, the City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, is making first assessments and disbursements, but is also relying on NEMO. Chairperson of CEMO, Mayor Zenaida Moya Flowers, says there are lots of areas that need to be addressed to rebuild the lives of people in the old capital.
Zenaida Moya Flowers, Chairperson, CEMO, Belize City
“We were out looking at what needs to be done. We must say that as usual there are particular areas that need help. As it pertains to work on the ground, there are several homes that we will need to try and get assistance to. That will be done through our DANA (Damage Assessments and Needs Analysis) subcommittee of which we will be working along with NEMO. So when we go out, we do the assessment and we pass it to NEMO. Infrastructural assistance as it pertains to people’s homes if it can be deduced that it was done because of the hurricane. We are working along with the Belize Maintenance Limited, BML, ensuring that the trains are shaped quickly. Even in terms of picking up the garbage, we have trucks that are moving along picking up debris all over. So we are asking residents to put their debris along street sides and front of their homes and we will be moving those as well. I was in contact of some of the mayors. The mayor from Corozal did inform me already along with the mayor from Benque. So Mayor Hilberto Campos from Corozal and Mayor Nicholas Ruiz from Benque already informed me that they will be assisting. We had councilor Eric Chang and City Engineer, Benjamin Mendoza, the B.D.F. there and these people where there to the back of the truck rescuing people along with our councilor Singh and our team and something chopped him here.”
Zenaida Moya Flowers
“Councilor Chang. We are lucky that it’s something—he got his stitches—but that could have been worse. But the point is we were out there. We weren’t in the media, but we were out there on the ground doing our work. We want to help people but people also have to work with us, so we have decided that we are going to work with the Met Office in terms of advise that at a certain point when it is landfall, they will advice us as in what time we should cut off the moving in terms of rescue. People will simply need to understand that because it is lives we are talking about.”
The dollar value in damages for the city is not yet known, but housing and infrastructure took a packing. Richard has now weakened considerably into a tropical storm but heavy rainfall is likely in northern Guatemala and nearby Quintana Roo in Mexico tonight.