Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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.
According to San Pedro NEMO Coordinator Vanessa Parham, 28 people registered at the Sagebrush Church when the shelters opened. Two people sought refuge at the St. John Paul Youth Center, while five sought shelter at the Roman Catholic School in Caye Caulker. Parham emphasized that the shelters are open to everyone but urged people to be respectful and adhere to the guidelines, which include no disorderly conduct, alcohol, smoking, or illegal substances.
Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez and Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez have advised islanders to continue their preparation plans and monitor the hurricane’s progress. Beryl is expected to land north of Belize on the Mexican side around midnight today. The northern part of the country, including the Cayes, is under a Tropical Storm Watch, meaning that heavy rainfall and tropical-storm-force winds of about 40 miles per hour are likely. Perez and Nuñez urged residents to be responsible and to wait for updates from official sources after the storm has passed.
The latest update on Hurricane Beryl, as of 6PM, indicates that it is rapidly approaching the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The hurricane is expected to land later tonight, bringing hurricane-force winds, dangerous storm surge, and damaging waves. Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest at around 20 miles per hour, sustaining maximum winds of 110 miles per hour, with even higher gusts. Beryl is anticipated to weaken before passing over the Yucatan Peninsula and is expected to be a Category 1 storm at that time.

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