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Thread: Aftermath of Hurricane Richard.

  1. #16
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    The Power Outage Situation
    posted (October 25, 2010)
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    And while that is the state of the nation after Richard, the fact is much of the nation tonight is still without power after Huricane Richard downed power lined and toppled lamp-posts - leaving most of the country under a blackout - except for the north.
    BEL conducted a damage assessment earlier today and power has been restored to some areas. According to a press release sent out by the company late this evening, Hurricane Richard has caused downed lines and damaged poles in the Belize and Cayo Districts.

    Residents along the Western Highway from La Democracia to Blackman Eddy may not have their power restored until Tuesday due to extensively damaged transmissions lines.

    Power supply has been restored to Independence Village, Punta Gorda Town and surrounding areas. Restoration of power to fifty percent of customers in Dangriga Town and surrounding areas was expected today. In Belmopan, San Ignacio and surrounding areas, the company is aiming to restore power supply to at least eighty percent of residents by later tonight.

    In Belize City - power will likely be restored to sixty percent of residents tonight and in Ladyville and Hattieville, ninety percent of those residences will be restored.

    There will be other areas that will remain without power due to the extensive damage of infrastructure. These areas remain disconnected while repairs are conducted.

  2. #17
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    The Sweep Of The Storm Threat
    posted (October 25, 2010)
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    Tropical depression 19 - that's what Hurricane Richard started out as when the storm first appeared on the radar on Wednesday. It built slowly and over the weekend - it had many Belizeans not sure whether they were coming or going. Because of its very slow buildup - the storm at first seemed like it would make a bee-line for Dangriga - and then it jogged slightly north to make landfall just south of Belize City.
    Expecting landfall in the Stann Creek district on Sunday Monica Bodden started her storm trek in Dangriga and tracked all the way back to the city. Here's her story:…

    We first visited Dangriga where homes were shuttered as this coastal community was packing up and mobilized for the storm. Which according to the map was churning right above their community. The coast however suggested no sign of an imminent threat as the waves gently lapped on the beach.

    Still, inside the coordinating center, it was buzzing with activity as the district emergency management organization was on high alert - with their priorities clearly laid out on bulletin boards and supplies properly stored up.

    The Delisle Academy - was one of the designated shelters at the community shelter; it opened at 7:00 am and by noon when we visited more than a few families had already moved in, and others were arriving - bringing with them valuables, bedding and supplies to last three days. Thelma Lewis was there with seven grandchildren:

    Howard Melendrez Shelter Manager Delisle Academy
    "At present we have over 150 shelterers. Each class room we are trying to see how best we can have at least 50 persons within one of the classrooms. Up to this point we have 7 classrooms open and people are still coming in."

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "I am not sure if my house can take the winds when it blows so I come in time because I don't want to get hurt on the street when I am coming."

    Monica Bodden
    "What time you come this morning?"

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "I come about 10 am because I was cooking - baking bread and after that I come this side."

    Monica Bodden
    "So you are fully prepared for whatever?"

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "Yes, but the food that I bring that will not serve us for 3 days. I hope that they prepare for us when the time comes."

    Monica Bodden
    "Ms. Thelma you ever experience a hurricane or anything?"

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "Hmmm.. I had experience Hurricane Hattie, that was nothing nice."

    Monica Bodden
    "Now you know this one is almost a category 2 right."

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "Yes."

    Monica Bodden
    "Are you afraid? Are you panicking?"

    Thelma Lewis, Shelterer
    "I am not afraid and I don't panic. I just sit down and wait until it comes."

    Howard Melendrez Shelter Manager Delisle Academy
    "I must say that the cooperation from the residents are overwhelming they listen, they acted as we request and is going well so far."

    Going well there and pretty much the same in Ladyville where at the police station, the phase two flags were flying in breeze that was picking up - and residents were already inside, bedded down they had clearly gotten the message:

    Minister of State Michael Hutchinson
    "Well definitely we have some areas in Ladyville that does flood. Its best when you sound the warning, the hurricane not only just come today from earlier in the week the media houses been telling people to move to higher grounds so those people by now know that this thing is coming they should evacuate themselves from those places. I think at the beginning people are relax but visiting the supermarkets here in Ladyville and in Belize City you see the people are moving, they are taking this thing serious and they are getting themselves prepared. Pretty much I think everybody is well aware of what is happening and have move to higher ground and those people that believe that their houses can endure the strength of the hurricane they are staying put. Nevertheless we are up and about."

    No time to spare as by mid-afternoon the increasing winds had already snapped this branch off a tree and deposited it on the shoulder of the northern highway near Williamson Industries.

    Monica Bodden
    "As you can see we are just about the Haulover Bridge heaving towards Belize City. Out this side the winds are really picking up. I think it's about 50 miles per hour winds we are receiving up this side right now."

    In the city the winds had uprooted signs and at the St. Luke's Methodist Shelter - where by 4:30 pm city residents were settling in for what looked to be a scary night

    Deseree Swift, Shelter manager
    "So far it's going ok as to people coming in and settling down. I am trying my best to get everybody as comfortable as they could possible could in these circumstances here."

    Monica Bodden
    "We are looking at how many shelterers?"

    Deseree Swift, Shelter manager
    "Right now in total we have over 175."

    Rose Smith
    "Right now we feel good, we get a good shelter and we are praying to God for this hurricane to be over and everybody be safe and loving. Our house has just been built but I don't think the house is really strong, the house is a low house so the best thing for us was to get a shelter because if we stay there and get hurt we can't blame anybody but ourselves."

    In the St. Luke's yard a tree had already been uprooted sending shelterers a clear sign of what lay ahead.

    And while those are some of our storm stories, due to time constraints, power outages, toppled towers and the like, we weren't able to get on all the interviews that we did today. So we'll have those tomorrow….

    Before we close, we note that there will be no classes tomorrow in the Belize Cayo and Stann Creek districts while Toledo, Corozal and Orange Walk will have school.

    School is expected to resume on Wednesday for the storm affected districts.

    And it didn't get a great deal of coverage in the news but we note that the shelter sin Belize City were full during the passage of the storm. We're working on those numbers and hope to have them for you tomorrow.

  3. #18
    Princess Guest
    I pray that those that lost homes and necessities will be able to at least regain enough for a decent quality of living. Today I'm saddened by the stories of loss (thank goodness it was all material). Those can be replaced.

  4. #19
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    Thanks for sharing. Anybody hear from our b.com friends in the south?
    Success is Journey... not a Destination

  5. #20
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    Belize Rebuilds After Hurricane Richard
    Source http://belizean.com/news/belize-rebu...icane-richard/

    Life is slowly returning to normal in Belize after Category One Hurricane Richard slammed into the lightly populated central region of the country Sunday night October 24 leaving behind damage to infrastructure and agriculture, a total collapse of the electrical grid but no loss of life.

    The eye of Hurricane Richard made landfall approximately 10 miles south of the capital Belmopan, population 20,000 Sunday evening. It ripped off the roofs of dozens of homes on the coast, from Belize City to the north, down to Dangriga in the south, and destroyed hundreds of plywood and tin roof shacks used by the poor – mostly in Belize City and nearby villages. Some 4,000 people huddled in hurricane shelters during the storm that brought 92 mile per hour winds and torrential rains, and today Tuesday a couple thousand remain there as their homes are gone or uninhabitable. Most Belizeans weathered the storm in darkness as the country’s entire electrical grid collapsed. Belize purchases electrical power from Mexico and generates its own from two hydro plants but the damage to transmission lines was substantial. The seat of government, Belmopan, built 50 miles inland 29 years ago following a devastating hurricane that partly destroyed coastal Belize City, was also plunged into darkness. The Belize government had decided a couple of years ago to decommission the capital’s diesel generating backup station and rely solely on the national grid.


    Crane retrieving hurricane Richard downed billboard at Habet owned hardwware store in Belmopan Belize.

    The Belize government has announced an estimated damage of U.S. $18. million from hurricane Richard – not counting the disruption to business and the productive sector due to the collapse of the electrical grid, which also led to no water being available as the government owned water company does not have backup generators to power its pumping stations. Prime Minister Barrow vowed to make all efforts to find the money to rebuild the damage done by the hurricane.

    By Tuesday morning approximately 70 percent of the country had electricity restored and the privately owned Belize Electricity Limited was projecting to have the entire grid restored by nightfall. All schools in the Belize, Cayo and Stann Creek districts are closed and will reopen on Wednesday. Many schools serve a dual role as hurricane shelters. Internet service and cable television are still disrupted due to downed lines and utility poles. The country’s international airport near Belize City is now reopened and flight schedules are normal. Additional flights are being put in to retrieve passengers who ended up in other countries, for example El Salvador, when flights had to be diverted on Monday in the aftermath of the hurricane.

    At a press conference organised by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Belmopan yesterday evening it was revealed that about 30% of Belize’s orange crop has been lost. One reporter described walking a citrus orchard in the Stann Creek Valley: “The entire orchard was covered with an emerald carpet of thousands upon thousands of young and immature orange fruit ripped from the trees by the hurricane winds.”

    The largest citrus processing company in Belize is starting processing operations ahead of schedule today to do sampling tests and attempt to recover some of the crop on the ground.

    Despite the misery endured by Belizeans during the hurricane, the event was not without its lighthearted and interesting moments.

    Some motorists and tourists on the Northern Highway near Belize City (and thousands watching on television) were startled to see crocodiles and boa constrictors crossing the highway as it began to flood.

    In San Victor, a village in the Orange Walk district, a shelter warden opened his shelter early. But then got drunk and accidentally
    locked himself inside the shelter. Being unable to find the keys in the darkness, he rode out the storm by himself while villagers
    had to flee to another shelter.

    And in Belmopan, the government’s post storm press conference at the the National Emergency Management Organization was cut short when the building’s backup generator failed during a long-winded intervention by a local politician.

  6. #21
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    Housing Relief On The Way
    posted (October 26, 2010)
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    It's been roughly 48 hours since Hurricane Richard destroyed the homes of many residents of the Southside, and today Minister of Works Anthony Martinez told us that the ground work to start restoring those homes has started and as of tomorrow residents can start going to an office on the corner of Kut and Euphrates Avenues that has been set up to deal directly with those whose homes were affected or destroyed by the hurricane.
    Hon. Boots Martinez, Minister of Works
    "We will begin almost immediately; yesterday we started to do the necessary assessment. We have set up this office here especially for that purpose. This is an office here now for the ministry of works for that specific project. We have our engineer and staff here that will be making all the necessary and preparing the estimates and so we could start to work immediately. When I say immediately I mean immediately as of tomorrow."

    Andrea Polanco
    "So far in your assessment, how many homes would you say are damaged or have been totally destroyed?"

    Hon. Boots Martinez, Minister of Works
    "Well as far as totally destroyed my numbers as far as I know it, it would be about 15 we know of at this time. We are still doing the assessment, people are there on the ground and we will say at least in my view over 100 people have been affected in terms of its 3 sheets of zinc missing or their windows broken and so forth. We are still doing the assessment. We invite anybody from the city that has been affected. So if you got 2-3 zinc blow off we will replace it; if your house went down, we will replace it; if your roof went off - we will replace it. We have other components of NEMO of which the Ministry of Human Resources and other factors will chip in, but this aspect of it is for only the people that have been affected directly by the hurricane."

    Andrea Polanco
    "This will be for residents of the city or people across the country can come here?"

    Hon. Boots Martinez, Minister of Works
    "Only for the city. The ministry works in charge of the restoring of the homes that were damaged in Belize City alone. In the other districts and villages that will be done by NEMO, but the Ministry of Works is in charge of the Belize City aspect of it. I need to remind the public that there might be a small hitch in terms of access to material. When the storm a lot of people went to but material, so you can have money but not material so the Prime Minister has made monies available almost immediately so we will effect the work immediately. Any material that we can get to affect the repairs and the building of homes will be affected and I must say that all of these work will be done simultaneously. We usually especially in the south side projects use contractors who intern hire people from within that specific area and it have been working well under the south side project so I think under the ministry's project it also will be working with."

    Andrea Polanco
    "So this will also employ some people here?"

    Hon. Boots Martinez, Minister of Works
    "A huge amount of employment for people especially on the south side that was terrible hit. "

    Residents can also call the office which will be opened from Sunday to Sunday at 207-0459. While the project seeks to deal with only those whose homes were damaged as a direct result of the storm, those whose yards may have been damaged and are in need of landfill or land reclamation can get help from the Southside Alleviation Project.
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  7. #22
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    Rations Relief
    posted (October 26, 2010)
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    And while that's good news for those who are out of their homes, what about those who are struggling to put food on the table after that storm swept away all their supplies?
    Today four trucks from the state of Quintana Roo arrived in Belize to hand over around one hundred thousand Belize dollars worth of food supplies and cots for city residents affected by Hurricane Richard. The kind gesture was initiated by the Mayor of Corozal, Hilberto Campos:

    Hilberto Campos, Mayor - Corozal
    "Immediately after the storm I call my fellow mayor Zenaida. I ask her in which way we can contribute to assist the people in need. I enjoy an extraordinary relationship with Chetumal with my counterparts the Mayor and the council that's in Chetumal Mr. Jorge Valencia. We sat down immediately and we saw in which way we could assist. I receive their commitment for them to assist with food rations and some mattresses, I took up the opportunity and I call the mayor. I must mention that we call foreign affairs and we inform NEMO, they had taken an inventory of what it is that we are bringing in to the city and I have done the handing over. I am confident that CEMO will find the appropriate way of sharing the goods."

    Mayor Zenaida Moya
    "I Know that in the city this is directory from one municipality to another municipally in the case i\of the Corozal Town Council Mayor Campos and all his councilors; they are sending this and we must thank them on behalf of the entire Belize City Council and the City if Belize for this assistance."

    Andrea Polanco
    "So this assistance is only for the residence in Belize City who have been affected?"

    Mayor Zenaida Moya
    "Yes, as you know a lot of people have been affected and this is for them."

    Andrea Polanco
    "How can these people access this relief?"

    Mayor Zenaida Moya
    "Yes we will be working through our coordinating effort, we will be working immediately. I really want to reiterate with the human development department we will be coordinating it so I will still request that they contact directly the human development department because our team will be working directly with them."

    Luis Felipe Valdez Gonzalez, Director of DIF
    "First and fore mostly because they are from Quintana Roo, a state that suffers a lot from tropical cyclones and hurricanes. They just like us are always under threat so they can relate very well to what we go through as a nation on the hurricane belt and because they see what their people go through the most vulnerable people in their state, what they go through in times of crisis and in times of hurricanes and for that reason they have risen to the occasion and made this pledge to Belize."

    Two more trucks with relief supplies will be arriving in the city tomorrow.
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  8. #23
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    From A Distance and Up Close
    posted (October 26, 2010)
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    Last night we had many gripping stories of storm survival from the seafront community in the Yabra area. That coastal area experienced driving winds and a massive storm surge that actually lifted homes and moved them - while also breaking down other homes.
    And while we honed in on that community - tonight we have the view from above, and some more shots from the ground that our crew collected yesterday

    The inundation is visible from the air. This time gales point was not inundated; in the community which juts out into the lagoon, the main road was still visible and just so for the citrus which looks neat and orderly but is devastated inside the rows. Here in the Stann Creek district you can see where the land is mashed up, like unkempt hair…and just so along the coast in the area where the storm made landfall - the trees are pulled back.

    The flooded properties in Port Loyola are visible from the air; even the basketball court looks like a clay tennis court. The most affected homes sit surrounded like islands.

    Here you can see that a piece of zinc flew off this house and these homes are swamped. This area looks properly bushwhacked by the storm and even from above, the devastation in the Yabra area is visible where the coastline looks bilgey. This shed near Bird's Isle was flattened the Radisson pier was a scattered mess.

    While the fire department had to hose down the municipal airstrip, in the Belama area, some streets were swollen like rivers.

    Belmopan looked just fine, but the view from above, though alluring, is misleading. Look at Guanacaste Park at the entrance to Belmopan - mashed up completely - a tangle of trees - and fallen signs.

    Just so, the aerial view doesn't pick up scenes like this one from Yabra - where the Caesar Ridge road was a mess with the thick film of muck and garbage that washed in from the storm.

    The leaning lamp-posts and the tangled wires, in some cases lamp-posts keeling dangerously close to the street were visible everywhere.

    Perhaps the storms transformative power is best viewed in the court of appeals where the courtroom looks like a bar-room after a bad brawl, the judges chairs put to sun-dry, their robes still draped across the backs of some chairs. This seafront building took the worse of it with water almost up to the door knobs.

    The devastation was also laid bare on this church and even the crocodiles were coming out on Faber's road where this house was knocked off its moorings and everywhere Zinc was flung about like abandoned kites. At this store on Orange Street its inventory went crashing to the ground in a mess while boats on the along the coast in the Yabra area were thrown about like paperweights. And while all that damage is physical there's no quantifying the wreckage that has been made of people's entire lives - their possessions strewn one way and the other - their entire homes dismantled - and blown about - chaos piled atop squalor creating vast footprint of loss, ruin misfortune, and the will to somehow move forward - even for this man living out of a cart:

    David Halls
    "The whole house top blow off and the side of the house blew off too."

    Jules Vasquez
    "Explain to me what is was like when the house start blow apart on you?"

    David Halls
    "It was something that I would never want to experience again. But it is something to talk about, a serious experience."

    Jules Vasquez
    "Talk to me about it. Explain to me what went down?"

    David Halls
    "What gone down first is that the house start to shake little by little then it start to shake faster like a kite, then the zinc start to blow all the place and the walls just start to blow all over the place then the water start to come up to your knees in the house. But for now e don't where the next move is for now."

    Jules Vasquez
    "I see you have everything pile up in the cart."

    David Halls
    "Yes, that's what she had took to the shelter, at least that's what we have still."

    In Yabra residents putting together to hel a family overcome by garbage:

    Ali Thurton
    "We live close to the seaside and everything from the back come to the front. All those car that you see there was under water over the length of the car covered with water. Everybody went upstairs but when they call me and told me the state they say that they can't even come out of the house. My chair, TV, refridge, everything got damage. You see in my house, the bed and everything, all my working clothes, I can't even go to work because I don't have any clothes right now so I am just asking you to shoot this quick because we need help. We need water and everything."

    Jules Vasquez
    "Now explain to me the garbage situation. All the garbage I see about it wasn't here."

    Ali Thurton
    "The garbage is here because we had a dump site at the back so everything from the back came to the front with the one that comes out from the sea so all of that that you see - the tree that got rip up, that's is real power that did that."

    Jules Vasquez
    "So how all of this will clean up?"

    Ali Thurton
    "Well we have already start we are asking the city council to try to help us. They had already came to assess and they say that this is one of the worst yard."

    Let us tell you - we've toured Yabra and the competition for the worst yard is a hard one to win - the whole place is a mess - like someone put it in a box and just shook it up.

    That's the way this man at the corner of Mex Avenue and West Colet Canal felt during the storm right before his home collapsed….

    Huricane Victim
    "This is my first hurricane so, when I feel this breeze hit I said let me go from this house."

    Monica Bodden
    "The house was already shaking?"

    Huricane Victim
    "Yes the house was already shaking, so I just move before anything happen."

    Monica Bodden
    "You didn't move out anything?"

    Huricane Victim
    "No."

    Huricane Victim
    "He called me and told me what happen, because my house can withstand a category 7, his house can only withstand a category 2 or half. But he is my neighbor and I will support him to the max as I could."

    With so many stories like that - and so many that we have yet to cover - the reconstruction effort has to be massive - and a good corporate citizen is leading by example.

    The Benny's Group of Companies will be contributing $50,000.00 in building supplies to those residents of the Southside of Belize City hit hardest by Hurricane Richard. The contribution is available immediately and will be distributed via The Government of Belize through the Ministry in charge of Hurricane Recovery and Home Repair.

    For those residents - many of whom - slept in the open air last night - and will likely have to do so again tonight - the help cannot come quickly enough - and we surely hope some company or group will try and outmatch Benny's contribution….
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