Residents of Belize City,
particularly during the rainy
season, are no strangers to
getting their feet wet. But while
most of the old capital's flooding
is the result of heavy rainfall,
the water which greeted
citizens as they woke this
morning came up from the ground and not the sky.
Like many Belizeans, we tried to find out what was
Jacqueline Woods, Reporting
This morning all aircraft remained grounded at the
Belize City Municipal Airstrip. According to Efrain
Gomez, the Chief Civil Aviation Officer, they closed
the airstrip after the western end of the runway was
Efrain Gomez, Chief Civil Aviation Officer
"We've closed it before after a storm, after the
passing of a tropical storm or a hurricane, we've had
flood and debris on the runway and we had to close
The airstrip remained closed for four hours, but once
the water subsided the runway was cleaned and
opened. The flood was caused by high tides that also
affected many other low lying areas of the city.
According to Chief Meteorologist, Carlos Fuller, the
unusually high tides are the result of a gravitational
attraction that is taking place between the earth, sun
Carlos Fuller, Chief Meteorologist
"We are heading towards a new moon, that is when
moon is between the sun and the earth. As a result,
the gravitational attraction between the earth and the
moon and the sun combine together to form the
highest tides. In fact, this is going to occur on
Sunday, so we should continue to see high tides from
now until Sunday."
Fuller says the high tides occur twice a year as the
result of the alignment of earth, sun and moon.
Because the city is near sea level, the effect of the
high tides is increased.
"The effects are magnified in Belize City because we
are so low to sea level; either at sea level or below
sea level. So for example, if the water rises by one
foot and it is very flat, you will see this effect of
foot go a thousand feet inland, because the water will
go inland until it finds an elevation of one foot. So a
rise of one or two inches is quite spectacular because
that one inch spreads over a large area. Whereas, if
you had very hilly terrain, a one inch rise is
insignificant because it does not spread very far."
Saturday's high tide will occur around 9:00 in the
morning and Sunday an hour later. The water should
recede by Monday, but in two weeks the full moon will
once again make for wet footing. Reporting for News
5, Jacqueline Woods.
As the weather forecast indicated, those weekend
tides will likely be amplified by periods of