The Oral Tradition Remembers The Worst Storm Of Last Century
Hurricane season 2012 starts officially on Friday, June first. And most of us don't need any reminders of how serious a storm can be - after category one Hurricane Richard tore up central and western Belize in 2010.
But as far as hurricanes go - in Belize's recorded history, Richard was like - what you might call - "wah lee breeze" - compared to Hurricane Hattie in 1961. That was one of the deadliest storms of the last century and, in Belize, it killed hundreds, while leaving thousands more without shelter.
More Belizeans died in the 1931 hurricane but that was because there was no advance warning due to primitive communication technology. With Hattie, there was warning, but still no one expected the terrible, massive damage she would deliver. Fortunately, the oral history of Hurricane Hattie is still available - and everyone who lived through the storm has a story.
A few of those histories are compiled in a new programme produced by NICH called Belize Kolcha, Hurricane Hattie. The programme - which is a 45 minute documentary will air at nine tonight on Channel Seven - but for the news tonight - we clipped out a small portion as city residents remember the storms hellish onslaught and the sight of death that followed: