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channel 7

At the top of our newscast, we showed you what it was like inside Hurricane Dean's landfall in Corozal. Well here now is a look at the aftermath.

Jules Vasquez Reporting.
On the Libertad Feeder Road we were stranded for a while because there is no premium fuel available in Corozal. This is the sight we saw at one of the papaya fields there was major damage to one of the papaya fields. We are not sure who is the owner but you see here are the papaya trees prepared for harvest and some of them almost fully matured. They are plowed down. The papaya industry after Hurricane Dean is in a crisis and it is a crisis of multi-million dollar proportions. The most acute part of Hurricane Dean's landfall is that it completely undermines the papaya industry which was centered really in the Corozal District.

The highway was a complete mess and it's amazing how quickly people cleared it up. Here is a guy in Libertad who is fixing his roof. I am saying this is happening in an hour after everyone comes out. The winds subsided between 7 am and 8 am and by 9 am we have this guy on his roof preparing his roof, people cleaning the roads. These people are very community oriented.

Many houses in Libertad had their roofs split open or torn off completely. There you can see that footage. We are going here through the villages and you see a number of fallen trees in these villages, extremely consequential in terms of its just an endless string of these fallen trees.

This is Miradora Hotel within Corozal Town. It is within a stone's throw of the sea of the Bay, the Corozal Bay and this place, they didn't open it, that was ripped open. They found that open. This one over here, the wind actually tugged at the shutter and the wind actually ripped it open because of the direction was coming in.

Here we see Corozal Town. This is at about 9:30 am. People were really coming out to look around and see what had happened. Here this is one street from the Bay and as you can see it is strewn with all types of debris that has blown off from various buildings, zinc obviously. Here is a shot of some of the fallen trees. When we spoke to the Mayor, you would see that fallen trees and fallen lampposts were the two biggest problems, and after that, fallen zinc.

Jules Vasquez,
What is the situation right now in your town?

Hilberto Campos, Mayor - Corozal Town
"I have already informed my council workers to start working probably about 11 or 12. There is a lot of work as you can see and I guess obstacles will be the trees broke off and people got affected, mostly the zinc roofs that got ripped off and only one or two that fell all the way to the ground. But a lot of cleaning up, a lot of restoration of the parks that got affected, and the drains are pretty much working. I was checking them yesterday before the storm and they are working."

Jules Vasquez,
How did this storm, what is your assessment? My feelings was that the sustained hard winds lasted pretty much three am to like seven thirty to seven forty five am and we thought it would be like a fast moving storm and that it would be over us in two hours or one hour. What is your assessment?

Hilberto Campos,
"It is something very impressive. I have never witnessed something like that and I pray that it would never happen again, especially to our place in Corozal. It was frightening, I have to admit, and I believe that Corozalenos were prepared. We did our homework. As you can see, thanks to the good Lord we didn't have any casualties, any harm done to personally speaking. So first of all I would like to thank God that he spared us from the wrath of the storm."

Jules Vasquez,
Looking at the overall well being of your community, do you have any assessment of what is the value of the damage to your community?

Hilberto Campos,
"Not as yet. I am having a meeting right now as we speak, like I told I've been up the entire night from yesterday at 6 o'clock but I have a meeting right now with the deputy and the councilors and we will sit down and start working on that."

Jules Vasquez,
I saw a number of fallen lampposts. Have you gotten any indication of how you all might be able to get electricity?

Hilberto Campos,
"No. All of that will be discussed at the meeting, how quick we are going to have electricity restored in the town and how quick we can clean up the entire town and bring it back to normal."

Jules Vasquez,
All things considered, do you consider your municipality lucky?

Hilberto Campos,
"Definitely. Like I said, thanks to the good Lord we didn't have any serious casualty or anything as such and I believe that he spared us. No matter as much damage as the place looks like, like total havoc, but lives, I think it is more important that lives were saved."

Here we have an interview with a resident.

Resident #1,
"I know this hurricane was for us in Corozal."

Jules Vasquez,
Were you afraid for your family's well being? Did you think someone might get hurt?

Resident #1,
"No, no."

Jules Vasquez,
Even with the breeze, because I was here and it was like four hours of just this breeze? It didn't frighten you?

Resident #1,
"No because I have a son and a daughter at caye. I wasn't frightened at anything because I said nothing could happen because hurricanes come, hurricanes know who to do bad to and who to do good to so I wasn't afraid for hurricanes."

Jules Vasquez,
And because you know you weren't on the bad list?

Resident #1,
"When you are a good person and you are on the correct road, you are good with everybody, we didn't lose anything, nothing at all."

Jules Vasquez,
Just a few trees.

Resident #1,
"Well that's natural because you cut it and they grow again. But I wasn't afraid of the storm."

She was very happy to boast to me that her forty two year old house didn't fall. She has a forty two year old house beside her cement house however a lamppost nearby fell and she says that's a sign that she had done right. We have an interview here with another resident, this one from Ranchito Village.

Resident #2,
"Well everything went down because of the breeze."

Jules Vasquez,
At what time did this happen?

Resident #2,
"This happened around 3:30 to 4:00."

Jules Vasquez,
What did it sound like?

Resident #2,
"Well it sounded like whistling, the breeze. Meanwhile when it started to pick up, it picked up with force."

Jules Vasquez,
Did it make anybody frightened?

Resident #2,
"Well we weren't frightened because we didn't stay here. My wife and I went to my son's house. So we left the house empty because she said that we can't be sure with the house because she felt the breeze was going to come hard. So we decided to go to my son's house."

Jules Vasquez,
Where do you go from here? You don't have a roof over your head.

Resident #2,
"I don't have any roof, only those zincs which I will patch it with for the meanwhile."

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Mean Hurricane Dean Hammers Corozal for 3 Hours!
Hurricane Dean passed over northern Belize early this morning. No deaths are reported, but there is great loss to property and to crops - particularly papaya, and experts believe the impact on the district could be far reaching. And while that's long term, in the short term, there is no electricity across the Corozal District, and in parts of Orange Walk and San Pedro. The center of the category five storm passed just north of Chetumal and hurricane force winds extended over Corozal, Orange Walk, San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Our 7NEWS team went to Corozal to experience firsthand the passage of the storm and Jules Vasquez found surprising strength in the back side of Hurricane Dean.

Jules Vasquez Reporting,
It's a scene captured at 6:00 this morning, and it looks almost placid - sheets of rain billowing across Corozal Town and coconut trees lashed by gusts from Hurricane Dean. And while it may look pretty - these are 75 mile an hour winds with gusts of 100 miles an hour or more - and if you don't believe just look at the fallen zinc sheets. By 6:00 am when these images were taken those very powerful winds had been going for 3 hours. We first felt the tropical storm force breeze picking up at about 2:00 am when I first felt its sting.

It's 2:15 am in Corozal Town and this forecasters say is not the worst of the breeze. They say the worst of the breeze will be here in about an hour to two hours time but right now, it is almost unbearable. One can hardly stand in it, the rain is coming in sheets, and we're going back inside.

A few minutes later - we were at the bay.

We're here at the Bay and what residents have been talking about for hours is that the water has actually receded from the Bay. If we shine the light down there, you can actually see where the waters have receded. You can see the money sea bottom surface where the water has receded. Usually water is up here, it is rolling with waves on any average day but actually, as I said earlier, the breeze is blowing in the opposite direction and it is actually blowing the water back away from the shore.

And while the Bay looked ominous - on the roadways it was ominous.

It's ten minutes to three. This is the San Andres Road and this is the strongest wind we've felt so far. As you can see, branches are starting to break off here. These are from a tree on the road. Any tree that overhangs the road is likely to have branches broken off and they are strewn across the road. But again its only ten minutes to three and landfall is not expected until about 3:30 or 4 so we are still an hour away and these strong winds are already snapping these trees.

But it was calm inside the DEMO Office where Major James Requena was in charge.

Major James Requena, Corozal - DEMO
"In Corozal we are experiencing winds in excess of 75 miles an hour and these are still remnants of the tropical storm winds. Within the next half an hour to an hour, we should start experiencing hurricane force winds."

Three hours later those hurricane force winds would continue to bear down on Corozal they had diminished slightly but we could see the effects of three hours of pounding in shattered roofs, fallen trees, zinc shorn from rooftops, and other curled back like pieces of paper.

It was supposed to have been a fast moving storm. It was supposed to have flashed over Corozal Town in a quick time but it didn't. These winds, and in fact winds much stronger than this, have been battering this town for three solid hours. In fact what you see behind me now is the subsiding of these winds. We've been inside for the past two and a half hours because we simply could not come outside because the winds were too strong.

And even after 6:00 with those subsided winds, walking down the corridor to get to the street was hard with the wind's tunneling effect. And when we did get down, the sting was worse.

While the storm beat this town for three hours last night, the fact is that many of the lampposts, most of what we can see here in Corozal, are still standing. This is four hours after the strong breezes starting coming. Its 7 in the morning and there are still pounding. Residents say Chantal was not nearly as strong as this. Let's go.

Those very strong winds would continue until 7 am.

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Corozal residents feel Dean's wrath
While Dean may have hastened the demise of the Leslie home in Belize City, the damage suffered by homeowners in Corozal and Orange Walk was far from inevitable. I've just returned from a survey of the northern districts and found that while some people are hurting, hope is alive.

Ann-Marie Williams, Reporting
This is what the Corozal District looks like the day after Hurricane Dean. Chairperson of the Belize Red Cross Corozal Branch, Gloria Gilharry, offered a preliminary assessment of the damage.

Gloria Gilharry, Chairperson of Bz. Red Cross Cross Clz. Branch
"There is like twelve houses completely damaged, and they went by the Venezuelan site and they found like, at least forty houses completely, the roofs are gone, which is zinc. But those are mostly the damages right. Then the light posts, they claim it's like maybe, at least a forty percent posts on the ground, a lot of wires-electrical wires-on the ground. And um, well we didn't find no casualties, no major damages on casualties, and we didn't find any floods- severe flooding, just water, pools around the place."

Ann-Marie Williams
"No flooding, not yet?"

Gloria Gilharry
"Not as yet, no."

Ann-Marie Williams
"Are these families in a position to put their lives back together?"

Gloria Gilharry
"Not really, because those homes are like the, you know, these little thatch house, small houses. As a matter of fact, I just pass by one and I saw the lady sitting down middle of the yard with the baby in her hand and no shelter."

Alexander Peña and Mariana Lopez along with their five children, one of whom has a heart condition, is one of the twelve families without a shelter. They took the necessary precaution and sought refuge at a neighbor.

Alexander Peña
"I experience it when I peep out the window and I watch everything was going down. I just watch the neighbors, the zinc is coming down. The roof, zinc flying all about, the post lines going down; I just seh well 'mein, this yah only God could help we and this da it'. My stereo, everything just gone. I don't worry about the material things right, what I worry about is my family, that they okay then. ... I just got a, maybe a half shelter right there where I going to reforce with the board that I removing from this one, to try at least do wah shelter where I cu shelter with my kids, until I could try sih what I could do; because really, I'm not working right now and really, right now it's very hard for me because I noh have no capital on me."

And while Peña is not employed at the moment, there's no shortage of work for him to do.

Alexander Peña
"I got work now to do in my house to try build up at least wah shelter, because I stay without nothing."

Catalina Cowo and her family of seven are a little better off than Peña in that they saved their belongings but promised she'll never take the risk and stay at home in a hurricane again.

Catalina Cowo
"Because we didn't think that it was, I told my husband-I said-'it won't be' because fifty-six years I have and I was four years when Janet hit here and I haven't seen a hurricane yet. It was very very ugly. Well we just pray to God and that little piece where we were, didn't blow off. It was all wet and my foot had cramp and my back is hurting me because we were just so under the- and then we put the sofa so, and then we put a mattress incase of something an' board fall noh, on our heads."

And for those residents who were lucky enough not to lose their roof, their tale of Hurricane Dean is one of down-power lines, up rooted trees, no water, electricity or telephone.

Ann-Marie Williams
"When will the rebuilding begin? Who will actually help these people to put their lives back together?"

Gloria Gilharry
"Well, that's a good question. I really cannot say who, you know, who is on the point of doing that. We as the Red Cross, we'll be doing voluntary work, we will definitely have some supply for some of these people that will be needing like say, blankets, we have kitchen sets, you know. And at the moment I'm expecting to get more. I spoke to the president this morning and they are preparing more supplies to bring to us, but we are more in that field, not in building."

We found Cruz Lino in Orange Walk, a single mother of seven children, trying desperately to put the pieces back together. Despite little success, she displayed an abundance of hope.

Cruz Lino
"All my things, my dress, my mattress, all my things that I mih have; the stove, wa refridge that I mih have, all the door blow and then bruck down. You noh see it in deh when you gone deh? Aha, all that."

Ann-Marie Williams
"How does that make you feel, when you come in and look at the damage?"

Cruz Lino
"I mi feel sad because I noh have help from nobody. They blow all the zinc and I noh have nothing. I noh the work that day and I have wah small baby, and I can't do nothing. The village council from here only help me with five pounds ah flour, two pounds ah beans, only that."

Ann-Marie Williams
"But you survived so what made you survive up to now?"

Cruz Lino
"Well, I say thanks God that ah lotta people know me. I see wah friend bring me flour, beans and you see, you lucky when you have a good friends, them come and help you. I say thanks, one of these days maybe you will need and I will help you to. Noh true?"

Gilharry says the Red Cross's role is not to provide building materials but a warm blanket and some personal supplies. Belizeans wishing to assist Cruz Lino of Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk can contact her at telephone number 620-6536.

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August 22, 2007

A group of volunteers from Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District is in Corozal to assist with clean up. Love F-M's Benjamin Ruiz spoke with one of the volunteers, Ben Berkman.

Benjamin Ruiz:Love FM

"How did you guys come about to get together to help the community of Corozal?"

Ben Berkman

"Well we've been watching Hurricane Dean since it was approaching Belize and we decided to help the less fortunate."

Benjamin Ruiz:Love FM

"About how many of you guys are here today working together and what are the major works that they are doing starting in Calcutta Village in Corozal?"

Ben Berkman

"We got about 35 people here and some guys with their machetes and we're just cleaning up the trees that have fallen on the houses and the cars and in the yard and just give them a little hope again to go on with life.

Benjamin Ruiz:Love FM

"I've seen that you've actually brought heavy machinery like a tractor and stuff and have the people been commending you for your work? How are you guys doing so far?"

Ben Berkman

"Oh yeah they seem to appreciate it a lot. I went to lunch with one of the guys and they gave us avocados, fruits and coconuts and stuff so we really enjoyed it. We're having a blast here."

Benjamin Ruiz:Love FM

"So the community is really appreciating your help here and you're going to be here only for the day right?"

Ben Berkman

"Well we'll see how far we get. So far we only planned for today so we'll see what will be the future."

Benjamin Ruiz:Love FM

"So the villages you're going to help are mainly the damaged areas and with the big trees falling in from the yard and how many houses so far you guys have covered?"

Ben Berkman

"I saw approximately 2,000-3,000."

Benjamin Ruiz: Love FM

"Those were the volunteers coming to clean up the yards after the hurricane. Reporting from Corozal Town, Benjamin Ruiz."

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August 22, 2007

Prime Minister Said Musa has declared Corozal District a disaster area. This follows an on site inspection of the Corozal District. Yesterday, Prime Minister Said Musa, Minister responsible for NEMO, Godfrey Smith, NEMO Coordinator, Colonel George Lovell, and the Ministry of Natural Resources Disaster Assessment and Needs Analysis Committee, DANA, conducted air and land assessments of the damages by Hurricane Dean to Corozal, Orange Walk, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker.

At that preliminary phase, DANA believes that there may also be damage to grain crops. According to Usher there were six assessment teams, one airborne and the rest by land, comprised of local and international personnel trained in damage assessment procedures. As soon as the teams landed, we spoke with Chairman of DANA, Brigadier General Allan Usher.

Brigadier General Allan Usher:Chairman of DANA

"We received a team of about six people from the United Nations Office of Disaster Management and came up and were briefed and those six people are actually embedded with the Ministry of Natural Resources Damage Assessment Team and one of by air by the defender of the Belize Defense Force and the other five teams were mounted on four wheel drive vehicles and went into areas going straight up,right up,as far as Consejo and then back down to Corozal and then up to the Northern border.The airborne team actually did the over fly and landed in both Caye Caulker and San Pedro and linked up with the disaster committee.The other teams,one went into Orange Walk Town via the Old Northern Highway and then carried on through August Pine ridge and right up to Blue Creek.Another one went straight up as far as Orange Walk and then turned east over the overpass and then north through San Estevan and Progresso all the way pass Sarteneja and then came back down into Corozal and then back down the road.So we pretty much covered then whole of the northern districts.The two northern districts with five teams on the ground and one airborne team."

Although there is not yet a total dollar value to damages caused by Dean, Brigadier General Usher gave us their preliminary findings.

Brigadier General Allan Usher:Chairman of DANA

"In terms of dollar value,I'm looking here at infrastructure at this time I must add quickly,we're looking at $500,000 worth of damage to the infrastructure,roads and repairing the infrastructure.Papayas,it's just estimated from the year is said to be in the honor of three million dollars,six thousand acres of sugar cane estimated in the order of $600,000 and the value of 50 acres of pastor land flooded.As I said we didn't see any dead cattle and the other crops are said to be in the order of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.Obviously,those figures will become more solid and become more official once we manage to put it all together."

Ministry of Natural Resources Damage Assessment Needs Analysis Committee will compile its report and submit to NEMO. In related news, NEMO has called a press conference for this afternoon.

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Storm Misses Tourist Spots and Weakens

CHETUMAL, Mexico, Aug. 21 - Hurricane Dean hammered Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula with blistering winds and heavy rain on Tuesday, missing the prime tourist spots of the Mayan Riviera but causing damage in Chetumal, the state capital, before being downgraded to Category 1 from Category 5.

Roofs were ripped off homes, streets were flooded, power lines downed and trees snapped in two as Dean, the ninth-strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic, with winds in excess of 165 miles per hour, passed overhead.

Although the storm crossed the Yucatán Peninsula by midafternoon, the threat was far from over for Mexico. Hurricane Dean was in the southern waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where vast offshore oil fields produce most of the nation's petroleum.

Dean had 80-mile-per-hour winds late Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said, and was expected to hit Mexico's gulf coast, somewhere north of Veracruz, on Wednesday afternoon.

Much of the storm's path was over largely uninhabited areas, so despite its early strength, no deaths were reported. But it was still soon to tell if the storm had affected remote communities or damaged the region's wildlife preserves. The Yucatán's mangroves, coral reefs and rain forests make it among the world's most biologically diverse regions.

"There will be damage to the ecosystem, of course, but conditions make it impossible for us to have any data yet," said José Solís, of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas. Officials planned to fly over the peninsula on Wednesday for an initial assessment.

Early reports showed that the Mayan ruins along the eastern coast were not damaged, said Guillermina Escoto, a spokeswoman for the National Institute of Archaeology and History.

On the road from Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a small town 100 miles north of Chetumal, uprooted trees blocked traffic until federal police officers cleared the way with chain saws. In towns along the way, people were salvaging whatever they could from ravaged homes and stores. In Los Limones, a sports center had been crumpled like a piece of paper.

In Pedro Santos, about 45 miles north of Chetumal, Jacobo Reyes, 32, a grocer, stared at the concrete block walls of his store, which was missing its tin roof. "We thought it would stand up pretty well, but it wasn't the case," he said.

His mother, Carmen Bustillos, 54, said she could not stand living in a hurricane alley. "I think now we should rebuild in a new place, start all over again," she said.

Chetumal took the brunt of the storm. Streets were inundated and debris was everywhere. Hundreds of trees lay strewn along major thoroughfares, and thousands of people were without power and running water. But with no deaths reported, city officials said that they were relieved.

It appeared that the storm, although brutal, would not cause the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, which washed away whole beaches in Canc�n in 2005, killed seven people and caused more than $2 billion in damage.

"If it had come through Canc�n, we would be talking about a different level of damage," Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center, said by telephone.

Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo State and a major center for trade with neighboring Belize, has a long history of hurricane damage. Two hurricanes in the 1940s wiped it out. In 1955, a storm devastated it. Each time, the city rebuilt, using more concrete to buttress itself against the wind.

The Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, left a meeting in Quebec with the leaders of Canada and the United States and arrived here Tuesday evening to see the extent of the damage. President Bush expressed support for him and said, "U.S. agencies are in close touch with the proper Mexican authorities, and if you so desire help, we stand ready to help."

The damage extended across the border to Belize, where residents scattered to the safety of shelters as the storm moved in.

"We live near a swamp, and the crocodiles come out," Chyla Gill told Reuters. She and her family had fled her wooden house in Belize City for a more fortified school building.

The eye of the hurricane made landfall around 4:30 a.m. near the tourist resort of Majahual, about 40 miles northeast of Chetumal, the National Hurricane Center said.

On Tuesday morning in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the wind howled and power failed after the overnight deluge.

As the sky became lighter, winds bent trees, tore corrugated iron roofs and knocked down signs. The streets were filled with water and littered with palm fronds and other debris. Overhead, clouds slid rapidly west.

The town's police chief, Abraham Oliva, said that the eye of the hurricane had passed through Laguna Guerrero, about 19 miles north of Chetumal.

In the center of the old town, people peered timidly from their windows to assess the damage. �lvaro Sosa Marvil, a veterinarian who lives in the town square, said he was relieved to find at dawn that the destruction was not as bad as had been predicted.

"This is a price one pays for living in a privileged place - the Caribbean," he said, as he looked at the downed trees in the town square. "Nature collects a toll from us."

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7. The Belize Meteorology Office expected the country to experience the impact of Dean for close to 6 hours with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center and tropical storm force winds up to 175 miles (280 km). As a result, the Government of Belize extended the hurricane warning to the entire coast of Belize.

8. Prime Minister Said Musa declared the "All Clear" (Green Phase) at noon on August 21. Flood forecast indicate that levels in the Rio Hondo and the New River are not expected to rise significantly.

9. Immediately after the "All Clear" was given, the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and its district offices conducted assessments jointly with UNDAC in Corozal, Orange Walk and the Cayes. More in depth sectoral assessments, including the by the ministries of health and social development are being conducted on August 22. Belizean Defense Forces conducted search and rescue operations immediately after impact.

10. The Belizean Ministry of Health (MOH) reports no storm-related fatalities and only a few minor injuries. During the night of August 21-22, there were 8000 people in shelters (86 hurricane shelters were opened nationally). It is believed that a larger portion of the population evacuated to private homes. NEMO district offices report all shelters closed with the exception of 40 families currently being housed in Corozal town.

11. The NEMO is assessing the number of families displaced to private residences to determine assistance needs. Initial estimates from NEMO's Relief and Supply Committee suggest approximately 1000-2000 people in need of assistance. Roof-repair materials will be required to assist with

reconstruction of damaged homes to allow displaced persons to return.

12. Immediate humanitarian needs appear to be met with national resources. Medium-term humanitarian assistance needs are being assessed. On-going assessment of response gaps and the potential need for international assistance will take place throughout the day of August 22. NEMO's Relief and Supply Committee provided food in shelters for 2000 people. NEMO reports sufficient stockpiles of food within the country - these are believed to be sufficient to meet medium-term needs, although the government lacks funds to purchase food items.

13. NEMO and the United Nations organised a rapid assessment on 21 August involving two over flights and five land assessment missions in Orange Walk, Corozal, and the Cayes. A joint assessment by UNDAC, the UNCT, and NEMO indicates that the damage was less than anticipated, consisting of some roof damage in Corozal and Orange Walk districts, some minor flooding and pier damage in San Pedro (Cayes). The number of homes with damages is estimated by UNDAC to be at a maximum of 5 -10% in Corozal district and less than 5% in Orange Walk district. Reports received from rural areas on August 22 indicate further damages to homes, not previously assessed.

14. The most significant damage seems to be in the agriculture sector with the loss of papaya plantations and damage to the sugar cane crop.

15. The NEMO reports that electricity and municipal water services have been restored to Orange Walk District and Corozal town and its immediate vicinity. Portions of rural Corozal remain without electricity and water. Damages to the electric gird is being repaired and should be completed in the short term. Water systems appear undamaged in all districts (the current lack of water in rural areas is primarily due to the absence of electricity). Roads are clear and passable; telecommunications are functional with the exception of regional wireless outages.

16. Hospitals are functional in Corozal town and Orange Walk Town. The MOH and PAHO have expressed concern over vector control and food/water borne diseases, particularly related to localized flooding. MOH efforts are focused on primary health care interventions and vector, food, and water borne diseases. The Ministry of Health has stated a need for spraying machines, as three of their own are out of order.

17. More than 1000 people are out of work as a result of the damage to the large scale papaya plantations. This will create unemployment for an estimated 1000 families.

18. The Belize Red Cross has distributed propositioned supplies of 100 blankets tarpaulins and kitchen sets and has sent an additional truck of relief to the affected areas on August 22. Another shipment is expected on August 23.

19. PAHO is providing direct technical cooperation in support of the Ministry of Health, including rapid assessment of the health sector. With PAHO's support, the MOH chartered a 12- seat plane and conducted a joint aerial surveillance. Participants included national health authorities, ministry of health technical officers, a representative of the Ministry of Finance and representatives of UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and PAHO. In coordination with the MOH, PAHO offered professional in the provision of a regional expert adviser on post hurricane assessment and two national technical advisers (environmental health and food security and nutrition). PAHO will continue to work with the Ministry of Health in the following days in the needs assessment to be submitted to international donors.

20. UNICEF supported the joint assessment on August 21, particularly through the provision of a water and sanitation expert. UNICEF is conducting assessment of schools and the needs of women and children made homeless in Corozal. Psycho-social support resources (e.g., manuals and support

materials) are being provided to local authorities. Further UNICEF assessment will focus on the readiness of the school system for the start of the school year on the week of September 3.

21. A WFP food security specialist arrived from Guatemala and will be offering support to the government in assessing overall food security, including supply and distribution effectiveness/needs.

22. The European Union has provided an agricultural expert to advise local officials. A USAID Disaster Risk Management Specialist arrived in Belize on August 20. USAID relief supplies, including blankets and building materials, are available for shipment from Miami should they be requested.


23. Immediate humanitarian needs within the capacity of the government include: tarps, blankets and kitchen sets for 46 families currently in shelters and approximately 1650 persons displaced to private homes and potable water. Medium-term needs include building and roofing materials, emergency food supplies for approximately 1,000 people who have lost their primary source of income/plantations; and psycho-social support for children in the communities.

24. The Government of Belize is requesting the following assistance: - For the Belizean Defense Forces: 4 portable electric generators (20kw), 20 chainsaws [gas], 20 axes, 20 handsaws 20 shovels and 50 hammers. - For NEMO on behalf of the Corozal Emergency Response Committee: 2000 sheets of Zinc Roofing (8 foot length); 2000 sheets of Zinc Roofing (10 foot length); 2000 sheets of runner rye roofing material; 500 blankets; 500 linen sheets; 1000 pillows; 10-foot canvas (quantity required is not yet known); 20 portable generators (various sizes, for community centres/shelters); 1000 pounds of roofing nails; 1000 pounds of 2" nails; 500 pounds of 1" nails; 2000 2" x

4" x 8' boards; 2000 sheets of plywood (1/2-inch, 4' x 8') Food for 1000 people, for an unspecified duration: including rice (bulk), beans (bulk), flour (bulk), powdered milk (bulk), cooking oil (bulk) and canned fish (bulk).

25. Longer term needs are still being assessed, but may include agricultural reactivation, support for those who have lost their incomes, loan assistance for agricultural investment/redevelopment, infrastructure support for schools and hospitals, and assessment/technical assistance related to water supply in the affected districts.
Belize Wedding Photography

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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British naval ships assist Belize after Hurricane Dean
PORTLAND and WAVE RULER send teams to assist remote village after devastation

Plymouth based Royal Navy warship, HMS PORTLAND, and the Royal Fleet Auxillary tanker, WAVE RULER have sent teams ashore to provide assistance to the remote village of Xaibe in Belize, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Dean.

The two ships have sent an initial party of 15 to assess the situation and join up with a party from the British Army who are based at the permanent army training centre in Belize.

The team included HMS PORTLAND's doctor, who was able to conduct a clinic for the locals and an electrical repair party, who took generators and lights, providing some power to the village.

A further 20 personnel are expected to go ashore in the morning to assist with debris clearance and roof repairs.

Commander Mike Utley Royal Navy, the Commanding Officer, stated

"I am pleased to report that my teams have got ashore quickly and provided some immediate aid to the villagers."

Both ships are stationed in the Caribbean region as part of the Atlantic Patrol Task (North) (APT(N)) for the 2007 hurricane season, which runs from June until November, ready to respond in the event of a humanitarian crisis.

At other times, APT(N) units conduct Maritime Counter Narcotics operations and wider regional engagements covering the Atlantic and western Pacific.

Both HMS PORTLAND and WAVE RULER were built on the Clyde in Glasgow, HMS PORTLAND in 2000 at Scotstoun, and the RFA vessel in 2002 at Govan

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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from a friend

According to villagers I spoke to today in Xaibe, the Brits are doing
a flagrant "show off" type training exercise using their village as a
training ground. Choppers flying madly overhead, vehicles running up
and down, soldiers strutting about like they are looking for the

Last night they beat up and Tazered a local wino they tangled with
according to a villager we spoke with.,

I personally witnessed army PR-TV reporters video-tapping the brave
squaddies trying to look as busy as possible. At first I thought it
was the local TV but on second look these were Brit military personnel
with very expensive broadcast TV cameras the local TV stations cannot
afford. And the TV reporters were totting SLRs and wearing helmets.

A lot of noise and maneuvering that have villagers amused and annoyed.
Can't wait for them to get back on their ship from the "remote"
village - Xaibe is a couple hundred feet from the main highway ;-)

Today's military have surely learnt a lot about the value of
propaganda - talk about embedded journalists.


Peter and Phil and the other Coro listeroos are alive and kicking but
madder than hell (to paraphrase Bush) at no Internet.

Peter had to chainsaw his way out of his domain after the storm. He
has full time electricity of course and one of his kids was booming
out Reggaeton on the stereo when we arrived. The Lister is steadily
doing it characteristic and pleasant low volume putt putt - so quiet
we actually gathered around and carried on a normal conversation
around this green wonder with huge flywheels.

His computer is running, he has lights and fans and TV, his freezer
has cold coconut water and other goodies but alas, no backup Internet.

Most of Coro is without electricity. Many people, especially women and
children are suffering from no shelter, food or water.

P.S. While the Brits are dashing around madly in their Leyland Trucks
and shiny new Land Rovers, I was sickened to see about 20 BDF soldiers
climbing up to be transported to their posts - in a battered open back
cane truck.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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If by Internet, probably a week? If electricity:

BEL is saying it will take two weeks to fully restore power to Coro.

Chetumal by comparison which was hit hardest is 90% restored as of
today - 100% by Sat. Cell phone and Internet are up 100%.

The most salient news I sampled while multi tasking, driving,
scanning, poking for Inet access, visiting relatives, interpreting
Spanish etc., was "The Zoo is in tatters, when will they send food for
the animals", and "Belize street (in Chet) is still in darkness,
" is Alvaro Obregon".

Some in Belize suspect BEL can barely supply Belize sans Coro and
parts of O.W. so is going slow in repair work praying to get the
Mexican juice back online before hooking up the North again.

BEL CEO Lynn Youn let the cat out of the bag when he described
Belize's electrical supply as "...tenous at best at this time" in a
radio interview yesterday. This after bragging BEL can supply all of
Belize for a month with no problem.

What most folks do not realise is that if you have Internet enabled on
your cell phone, you are good to go in Coro. Howevever, BTL's
extortionary per byte Internet cell phone rates have made this service
a joke and hardly any sane Internet user uses it.

What other users do not realise is that with the right knowhow you
can tag on and and link out to the Internet through various channels.

P.S. Peter's cell phone works very well from Xaibe and other locations
- he just presses "reject call" from unwanted or unknown numbers to
conserve his batteries. He came roaring around the marl road curve in
his fearsome "Bush Rabbit" 15 mins after we paged him.

Peter is busy servicing customers with gensets, advice, welding
equipment, attending to adoring fans of his Listeroids etc. The man is
an institution!

P.S. P.S. Belize Bank and Scotia Bank are up and running on generator
backup and so are their ATMs in O.W. and Coro.

You can access your Belize/U.S.A./International/Offshore funds with
Star, Interlink and Plus - no problem. The O.W. Shell ATM was
vandalised and has no functional locking door but despite being told
by attendants it was inoperable, it worked for my friends. Safe enough
to use whenever the gas station is working.

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