Belize Spared as Hurricane Beryl Shifts Path, Minimal Impact Reported

Belize Spared as Hurricane Beryl Shifts Path, Minimal Impact Reported

After days of uncertainty and constant preparation, Hurricane Beryl no longer threatens Belize. While the powerful storm ravaged several of our sister nations in the Caribbean, Belize was spared from its devastating impacts. Last night, the hurricane made landfall with the Yucatan Peninsula and brought isolated showers and gusts to the Jewel. Fortunately, the impacts were minimal and there was no loss of life, major property damage, or instances of flooding. The storm was forecasted to impact mainly the northern districts, but a shift in its path dramatically decreased its effects. During a press conference to announce an all-clear, Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon shared the good news and spoke on the system’s weakened effects on Belize.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Met Officer: “The hurricane is now inland and moving west northwestward across the Yucatan Peninsula. Fortunately for us here in Belize we had minimal impact from the hurricane. The last I looked the highest wind gust was 34 miles per hours recorded up in the north at Ranchito in the Corozal district so certainly we were spared the tropical storm force winds from this system and in terms of rainfall also very grateful that God has blessed us once again. In terms of rainfall totals in a 24 hour accumulation we had about one to two inches and those were not directly in the north, actually the north got about half an inch of rainfall. Most rainfall recorded was actually down south in Punta Gorda where we got almost two inches of rainfall. So certainly impact from this system was very minimal which was one of the probabilities that we indicated; minimal to moderate potential impacts. One thing that I want to mention is interns of the tract the forecasted track for the hurricane was north of what was the most probable part by about seventy miles more or less and that certainly was very very helpful for us. We are certain that if the hurricane had made landfall near Punta Allen then certainly we would have tropical storm force winds would have extended seventy miles further south and may have affected the extreme north as we had indicated. But in this particular case there was a shift, more to the north at the very end which certainly helped in ensuring that we were okay.”

The National Emergency Management Organization began scaling back on efforts last night and has called on businesses to resume normal operations. However, while the organization did not have to implement its hurricane plans, National Emergency Coordinator Daniel Mendez noted it was a learning lesson for him and the organization’s new faces.

Captain Daniel Mendez, National Emergency Coordinator, NEMO: “Our EOCs were mostly were stood down last night. We had people on skeleton staff in case there was a need. But I know that in the San Pedro area there were people who had sought shelter, as well as in the Corozal district, out of an abundance of caution. These shelters have been closed and the people in those have been asked to return to their homes. NEMO now resumes back on its preparation state. We are again, like Chief Met had said, we have resumed our normal operations and we are now back on preparedness. As Chief Mett had said, we are in the middle of a very busy hurricane season and so we ourselves at NEMO have been taking note of all of the lessons that we have seen. We are taking steps to improve our organizations. You are all aware, this is an unprecedented year. We have been responding to many different types of hazards and we have been working diligently to improve our systems and we will continue to do so for the rest of the year. We no longer are preparing just for hurricanes. As you can see with the fires and floods we have to be prepared for everything and so we are also continuing our efforts to improve. So just to state again, Belize is under a state of all clear.”

The organization reminds residents to remain prepared for the remainder of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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