A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE COAST OF BELIZE
Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016
NEMO hereby informs that at 9:00am Tropical Storm Earl was centered near Latitude 16.3°N,
Longitude 84.4°W or about 189 miles east-southeast of Half Moon Caye, 231 miles east-southeast
of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, 230 miles east of Dangriga, 236 miles east-southeast of Belize City,
271 miles east-southeast of Corozal Town, and 267 miles east of Punta Gorda Town.
Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast and
Earl is likely to become a hurricane before it makes landfall. Earl is moving westward near 14
mph and some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours. On this track, Earl
will MAKE landfall in Belize tonight or early Thursday morning. Earl will produce rainfall
accumulation of 8-12 inches over Belize with possible higher amounts. These rains could cause
flash floods and mud slides especially over higher terrain. For coastal areas, there is also a risk for
flooding, especially in low lying areas.
NEMO is at Phase 3 – two red flags with black centers flown above each other, this means that
Hurricane conditions are expected over Belize within 24 hours. We will experience strong winds
blowing as fast as 70 or more miles or per hour, heavy rainfall; storm surge; flooding along the
coastline; trees blown down; weak house and structures will be damaged or destroyed; loose
objects will become projectiles, power outages and disruption to water. As the system
approaches expect light winds, then heavy hurricane like winds, thereafter there will be a calm as
the eye passes; thereafter we will experience very strong winds then the winds will get weaker
and eventually die off.
The predicted path/impact areas are south of Belize City (southside Belize City) and north of
Dangriga. It will move over Half moon caye; Long Caye; Middle Caye; Long Caye Turneffe;
Gales Point; Mullins River; Silk Grass, Hope Creek, communities along the Hummingbird
Highway, Pomona, the peninsula, La Democracia; Cotton Tree; More Tomorrow, St. Matthews;
Franks Eddy; Valley of Peace Hattieville; Belize City; Belize river Valley; Ladyville; Lord’s Bank;
Burrell Boom; Willows Bank; Rancho Dolores; Isabella Bank; Double Head Cabbage; Belmopan;
communities along the George Price Highway , Spanish Lookout; Bullet Tree Falls. Shelters as
required will be opened in those communities. Detail list to follow.
Sequence of expected approach for Tropical Storm Earl are as follows: the outer atolls will be
approached at about 7:00 p.m. San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City will experience it at about
9-11:00 p.m. with about 40 mph wind. At midnight we will begin to experience Hurricane force
winds. By 1:00 a.m. hurricane force winds will be over Dangriga and Belize City, the centre of
the storm will be over Belmopan area by 4:00 a.m. The Cayo District (western areas) will be
affected at 6:00 a.m. and at 7:00 a.m. the western border will be affected. By 9:00 a.m. the winds
should die off.
Government closed normal business operations at 10:00 a.m.
San Pedro Belize Express last run is at 11:30 am. No Chetumal run is scheduled.
Civil aviation closes at 2:00 p.m. today the last international flight is at 12:15 p.m., Municipal
last flights are at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.
The last buses will leave from the north, west and south at midday and from Belize City to the
north, west and south at 4p.m. Urgent /emergency last minute runs must be cleared with
NEMO operations officer.
Port Closures: Fort St Tourism Village is closed; molasses and sugar vessels closed down
and moved to safe waters; Port of Belize is closed; Port of Big Creek is closed; Puma energy is
closed. San Pedro and PG port are closed.
Mullins River and Gales Point will be evacuated this afternoon. Punta Negra has been
Price gouging will not be tolerated.
Labour Matters: All employers are hereby advised that they are to comply with the directive (s)
from NEMO regarding employees safety. In the circumstance an employee has the right to seek safety.
Any employer who prevents and employee from leaving, commits an offense under the provisions of
the Labour Amendment Act #3 of 2011.
Communications equipment, i.e. masts and antennae must be protected before landfall.
Actions to be carried out by the public.
Listen to the advisories. Stay alert, take action. Make sure your emergency plan is in
place. Stock up on food, water, medication and shutter your home, SECURE YOUR ROOF,
WINDOWS AND DOORS.
As of 4 p.m. today you are very strongly advised to stay indoors and weather the storm. Seek
shelter, move to higher ground away from the coast and low-lying areas. People in Bungalow,
ground floor level building will experience flooding.
All are advised to pay keen attention and take the necessary actions to save life.
People who have livestock in low lying areas that are flood prone should move them to higher
Parents are hereby urged to keep their children and family members who are on vacation safe.
If you live in a flood prone area and along the coast and your home is not safe you are strongly
advised to move early to a shelter in your area. If you are going to shelter, know which shelter
you will go to and how you will get there. Take along your food, water, medications, and
personal hygiene items so you can survive and weather the storm for a few days.
Farmers in flood prone areas who have crops out in the fields that are close to harvesting
should take action.
Mariners especially small craft must seek safe harbour /stay in port.
NEMO urges all to protect their life. Listen to your local radio and television for further
advisories from NEMO and the National Met Service.
Hurricane Preparedness – Drinking Water Advisory
Belize Water Services reminds the public to keep at least 3 days’ supply of drinking water in sealed containers as part of their hurricane preparedness.
After the passage of any storm, normal water supplies may be affected, causing possible contamination. These may include BWS and rural water distribution systems, as well as individual wells and water storage tanks or vats.
After the passage of the storm, BWS will monitor and test for any possible contamination within BWS’ systems. BWS will put out advisories should any portions of our systems be adversely affected. However, be aware that in these circumstances, communications may be limited.
BWS hereby forewarns the public that if any water is suspected to be contaminated, it is strongly recommended to treat the water before drinking or consuming in any way. It is also recommended for persons in the rural areas that experience flooding and use well water to also treat your drinking water as it may not be safe to drink.
You can make water safe by doing ANY ONE of the following:
- Adding 1 tablespoon of bleach (Clorox or similar product) to five gallons of water, mix completely and leave to stand for 30 minutes before using. Warning: Do NOT use bleach that is scented or colored. Or,
- Bring to boil in a pot or kettle and let it boil at full bubble for at least one minute. Cool and use as needed. Or,
- Add water purification tablets according to directions on the package.
Warning: Water that is dark, has an odor, or has floating pieces should NOT be used for consumption, even with the above treatment.
A Hurricane Preparedness Message from Belize Water Services