By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter
The area of low pressure moving away from Belize continues to cause heavy rainfall, particularly in Belize City, where the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) had to be activated during the night to assist 50 people from the Conch Shell Bay due to severe flooding.
According to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) the residents were evacuated to the UB Building shelter at ITVET and are now safe.
There was also a fire on Supal Street Saturday night caused by an electrical wire which fell on a building, damaging part of the structure and causing several vehicles to go up in flames along with it.
Also on Saturday night, a house fell on Jasmine Street and unconfirmed reports indicate a six year-old child was injured. A family stranded on the Antelope Extension was rescued Sunday morning by the Belize National Coast Guard. The Belize Defense Force (BDF) has been deployed to assist CEMO in other areas of the City as required.
CEMO has urged the public to not drive around in low, small vehicles. Residents are asked to be very careful as they move about the City due to the amount of debris on the streets.
According to NEMO, there are no reports of flooding in other parts of the country at this time. In the coming days rain will continue according to the forecast and more flooding is anticipated. Residents along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas whose homes are likely to flood are cautioned to move to a high ground with family or to a community shelter. Farmers are advised to start making the necessary preparations for their livestock and crops. Drivers are asked to slow down and to put on their hazard lights when driving through rain.
Belize City Emergency Operations Center can be reached at 227-0056 and Councilor Phillip Willoughby can be reached at 630-979 or Wayne Usher at 610-3415. The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936, other NEMO Emergency Coordinators can be reached as follows: Belize District, Calbert Budd at 602-8632 and Kevin Pollard at 621-2275; San Pedro, Timrose Augustine at 600-8672; Belmopan, Clare Moody at 630-9791; Cayo, Al Westby at 630-3224; Stann Creek, Victor Castillo at 630-9780; and Toledo, Kenton Parham at 630-9787.
The public is asked to continue pay close attention the National Meteorological Service weather reports and NEMO advisories. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has also called an emergency press conference for Sunday afternoon and The Reporter will have updates.