NEMO declares Hurricane Warning for Belize; Nana expected to land as Category 1 hurricane

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

The National Meteorological Services of Belize and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advise As of 9am local time, Tropical Storm Nana was located near latitude 17.1N, longitude 84.6W or about 240 miles east of Belize City. This position is also about 265 miles East-Southeast of Corozal Town, 229 miles East by South of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, 240 miles East of Dangriga and 287 miles East by North of Punta Gorda Town. Nana was moving to the west at 17mph with maximum sustained winds of 60mph. Some strengthening is expected and Nana could become a hurricane later today or tonight. Nana is forecast to continue moving west with some decrease in forward speed today and then a westward to west-southwestward motion is expected tonight. On this track, Nana is expected to make landfall between midnight and 6am early Thursday morning over southern Belize as a category one hurricane. Residents especially those southward of Belize City should be prepared for category 1 hurricane-force winds between 74 and 95 mph. This system could also produce rainfall of 3-6 inches with isolated
amounts of 8 inches over southern and central Belize which could lead to flash flooding and possible landslides. Residents along coastal areas near the area of landfall should be on the alert for the possibility of a storm surge of up to 3-5 feet. The NMS of Belize will continue to monitor the system and update NEMO and the general public accordingly.

A Hurricane Warning (two red flag with a black centre flown one above the other) is declared for Belize City southward and a tropical storm warning for other parts of the country. This means it is imminent that the Hurricane will make landfall on Belize within 24 hours. The Warning is declared as the system direct path shows Nana heading straight for Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula and it can cause severe wind damage, flooding, storm surge, and drowning but only if the appropriate precautions are not taken.

The WARNING means the public must put their family emergency plan into action and to be prepared to seek safe shelter, (1) Avoid being near the coast if your home is not safe if you live on the cayes and along the coast be familiar with the evacuation routes. Know which shelter you will need to go to. (2) protect windows with plywood or shutters, (3) review your family emergency plan, consider all COVID 19 measures, (4) purchase non-perishable foods and water, if you can afford to. (5) Keep an extra supply of medication. If a member of your household is bed-ridden, seek medical advice. Notify authorities ahead of time if you have persons in your neighborhood that may require special assistance to evacuate due to a medical condition. (6) Secure your important documents and identification. Save the emergency contact numbers for NEMO, the police, fire, and medical facility in your cell phone. (7) Pets are not allowed in shelters, make plans for your pets, continue to trim trees, clear drains, and secure outdoor items. Farmers make plans to move your animals to higher ground and stockpile feed when required.

All Emergency Operations Centre (Command Centres) countrywide are activated. Works continue on mile 38 on the George Price Highway, final preparations are being made as shelters will be open to assist those persons. Government ministries are at this time in transition where only essential staff engaged in the ministry emergency plan and those who will work NEMO duties should be in office or as directed by their CEO in accordance with their ministry emergency plan.

We are asking people not to panic, stay calm, don’t listen to rumours. Stay tuned for and adhere to the
official release from NEMO and the National Met Service and stay alert. Prepare, and move without alarm,
scare mongering does more harm than good considering some people’s medical condition. NEMO will
keep the general public updated. Do not panic Belize we have faced tropical cyclones many times before,
the bigger threat is COVID 19 we must wear our masks, social distance and clean our hands and all surfaces
on a regular basis.

All persons in high-risk coastal areas are reminded IF the need arises for you to evacuate and you are (1) not COVID positive, (2) not in quarantine, (3) not awaiting a test result or (4) being contact traced, and (5) not showing symptoms, move early! You must wear a mask. Know which shelter you will go to, take along your essential necessities required for you to survive. The elderly and persons with underlying health conditions must not occupy the same space with normal persons. Note, people showing symptoms will be contained in a separate section of the shelter building. Hand washing /sanitizing must be done before entering a shelter. Shelter Wardens will allocate shelter space. Social distance must be adhered to and shelters must be sanitized on a regular basis. Garbage must be properly disposed of. Proper cleaning and disinfection must be done on a regular basis. Shelter Managers must monitor and correct hygiene and cough /sneeze etiquette. The Ministry of Health (MoH) will conduct daily monitoring of shelters to detect people who are sick and showing signs of COVID19. The Shelter Management Team (Public Officers/Volunteers) MUST use PPE.

The NEMO Emergency Hotline is 936. NEMO’s Emergency Coordinators can be reached as follows:
1. Corozal, Mr. Ronnie Hernandez at 614 7140;
2. Orange Walk, Mr. Aragon at 615 2264; or Mr. Leiva at 614 7177;
3. Belize District Rural, Mr. Alphius Gillett at 614 4735; Mr. Pollard at 6143244;
4. San Pedro, Ms. Vanessa Parham at 614 5865;
5. Belize City, Mr. Al Westby at 614 8604 or Mr. Kwame Scott at 615 7644;
6. Belmopan, Ms. Clare Moody at 614 5705; or Mr. Eiley at 624 2365;
7. Cayo, Mr. Al Westby at 6148604 or Mr. Johnny Ramclam at 614 5891;
8. Stann Creek -Coastal- Dangriga including Mullins River to Independence), Mr. Kevin Flores at
604 3632;
9. Stann Creek -Interior- Hummingbird and Southern highway communities, Mr. David Cruz at
614 8514; and for
10. Toledo, Mr. Kenton Parham at 614 2158 or Mr. Dennis Williams at 614 2393


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