Monday, July 15, 2024

Accidents & Disasters

Hurricane Beryl spares Belize: government to assist affected Caribbean nations

On Friday morning, July 5th, Hurricane Beryl landed as a Category 2 storm over the Mexican Caribbean coast, affecting coastal communities like Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The storm did not affect Belize, where a Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the northern portion of the country, including the Cayes. On Friday morning, the Government of Belize gave the all-clear, and discussions have started to see how they can help our counterparts in the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, who were devastated by the weather system.

Shelters open in San Pedro and Caye Caulker as Hurricane Beryl approaches

While Hurricane Beryl is not expected to hit Belize directly, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) opened shelters in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker on Thursday, July 4th. The shelters opened at 4 PM, with one in Caye Caulker at the Roman Catholic School and the Sagebrush Church and St. John Paul Youth Center (only for persons with disabilities) in San Pedro. If anyone needs to use the shelters in San Pedro, they can contact NEMO at 226-4824 or 614-5865 and 611-6603 in Caye Caulker.

Important guidelines to follow during the Hurricane Season

In this time of uncertainty, as dangerous Hurricane Beryl approaches landfall near northern Belize, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) shared some preparedness guidelines. These guidelines are not limited to the current hurricane hurtling across the Caribbean but for the remainder of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Weekend fire destroys building on Marina Drive

On Saturday, June 29th, at 1:40AM, the San Pedro Fire Department, with assistance from the San Pedro Police, responded to a fire reported in the DFC subdivision on Marina Drive. According to reports, Nellie Alamilla called 911 to report that she was awoken by loud bangs on the roof of her house and saw the building next door on fire. Fire Personnel Erick Tzul arrived at the scene shortly after 1:53AM and quickly extinguished the fire. However, the wooden structure, measuring 15ft by 35ft, was destroyed by the blaze.

Group of four rescued after boat overturns near Tuffy’s Channel

On Friday, June 21st, at 3 PM, it was reported that a local boat captain, along with three tourists, was on a dive tour when the boat capsized and overturned in front of Isla Bonita Yacht Club at Tuffy's Channel. Alfredo Rubio, the boat captain and tour guide of Tropical Wind Tours, discovered the incident and immediately contacted Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Abner Bacab from Island Emergency Services (IES) to help the four victims.

American tourist Robert Monroe Hughes dies while diving

A male American tourist identified as 68-year-old Robert Monroe Hughes died on Friday, June 14th, while on a diving tour off San Pedro Town’s coast. The deceased, a retiree, reportedly became unresponsive during the dive. While this was happening, the dive master/guide also became ill and unconscious. By the time both were rushed back to the island for medical attention, Hughes had passed away. The guide was treated and listed in stable condition.

Wildfires threatening Belize’s eco-tourism on the mainland

As of May 26th, wildfires have severely impacted several locations in Belize, including the Toledo District and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in the Cayo District. In Toledo, large tracts of agricultural land have been destroyed, while national parks and even communities have been affected in Cayo. Volunteers and officials from government and non-governmental agencies have been collectively battling the flames that displace wildlife, destroy habitats, and threaten the livelihood of thousands in the tourism industry in western Belize.

Danny Sosa hospitalized after hit and run traffic accident; assistance needed to cover medical bills

Island resident and bartender Danny Sosa, 23, remains hospitalized after he was knocked down by a golf cart driven by an alleged intoxicated driver. Sosa's left leg was severely injured and required two surgeries. As he remains hospitalized at the Orange Walk Sugar City Medical Centre, the family is reaching out to the public for help with medical expenses. There will be a fundraising Bar-B-Que on Sunday, May 19th, on Pescador Drive in downtown San Pedro, and anyone able to make a monetary donation can do so to the account under the name of Josseline Carolina Fuentes, Belize Bank, 237446010160000. The family can also be contacted at the phone number 626-0620.

Residents reminded of fire dangers during dry season following incident at the Solid Waste Transfer Station

Following this fire, the San Pedro Fire Department urges the public to be cautious and vigilant, as they are unpredictable and can occur anytime and anywhere. With the dry season in full effect, Belizeans are starting to feel the heat. And with heat comes the threat of increased fire incidents, especially wildfires.

Online petition launched to control large trucks traveling through downtown San Pedro

Following a nearly tragic incident involving a large dump truck and a man on a bicycle, an online petition to better monitor or possibly stop the flow of large vehicles in downtown San Pedro was launched. The accident happened on Thursday, April 18th, when the individual was reportedly pinned to a utility post when a huge truck tried to make a right turn at the end of Angel Coral Street. Passersby alerted the cyclist just in time. Medical personnel assisted the bicyclist, who was treated for minor injuries. However, this incident fueled rising concerns from islanders who believe urgent action is necessary to prevent a potential tragedy. As a result, resident Carina Paz created an online petition with over a thousand signatures by Wednesday, April 24th.

Swimmers reminded to practice water safety when swimming from the beach

Swimming off the northern beaches may be tempting for many, as the second-longest barrier reef is close to shore, and the water between the beach and the reef is inviting. However, swimmers should not go beyond specific points from the shore of the dock to prevent serious accidents.