Monday, July 22, 2024

Tropical storm Lisa becomes a hurricane; San Pedro takes further measures

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As tropical storm Lisa formed into the sixth hurricane of the Atlantic 2022 season, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, woke up to cloudy skies and quiet streets. The Category 1 hurricane is expected to make landfall today in Belize. To further extend the safety of islanders, shops and businesses are asked to close at 10AM, and residents should be at their homes after this time until the ‘all clear’ is given. Additionally, the sale of alcohol has been suspended for the time being, and shelters on the island opened from 7AM.

The shelters available in San Pedro include Sagebrush Church by the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in the Boca del Rio area and the Youth Center by San Marco south of town. In Caye Caulker, the Roman Catholic School is designated as the shelter on the neighboring island.

The latest official information of the storm states that at 6AM the center of Hurricane Lisa was about 60 miles north of the island of Roatan, Honduras, and about 100 miles east-southeast of Belize City. Lisa was moving to the west at 15 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and minimum central pressure 988mb. Of importance to note is that as the central pressure decreases, the stronger the storms can become.

Hurricane Lisa’s tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from its center. A flood warning is in effect for the country’s low-lying and flood-prone areas. A small craft warning is also in effect due to strong winds and rough seas.

In San Pedro, the emergency teams consisting of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), police, and fire department are ready to render assistance after the hurricane passes. They join the local authorities, Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez, and Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez in asking residents to prepare as best as possible for incoming weather and monitor the storm via official channels.

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