Hurricane Beryl: Belize on High Alert as Category 4 Storm Nears

Hurricane Beryl: Belize on High Alert as Category 4 Storm Nears

Tonight, all eyes are on Hurricane Beryl and where it will go next as it continues on a path of destruction in the Caribbean Sea. With the powerful Category 4 storm intensifying just off the coast of Jamaica, Belizean authorities are taking proactive measures to ensure readiness and safety for all residents. Reporter Vejea Alvarez tells us more.

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: As Hurricane Beryl barrels towards the Caribbean, Belize is gearing up for potential impact, particularly in the north. With the storm now classified as a Category 4 hurricane the national emergency management organization NEMO has taken decisive action by declaring the preliminary phase of the National Hurricane Response Plan. Late this evening, Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon explained the weather system could impact Belize within the next 72 hours.

Ronald Gordon, Chief Met Officer, NMS: “ It is still forecast to move. generally west to northwestward for the next 24 to 36 hours and impact the island of Jamaica around midday tomorrow, Wednesday. Thereafter, the system will further weaken due to vertical wind shear as it enters the Northwestern Caribbean Sea through Thursday and move generally west to west northwestward towards the Yucatan Peninsula with a likely landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula late on Thursday night into early Friday morning.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: In preparation for the storm residents have been securing their homes by hammering boards across windows and safeguarding important documents in waterproof containers. Fared Sahia says construction supplies are flying off the shelves in his hometown of Corozal. 

Fared Sahia: “From yesterday we actually working from 7.30 in the morning we were actually working till like almost like what last night to finish like nine o’clock because we actually  distribute around in the Belize all the districts.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: The impending impact is expected mostly in the north, although the entire country remains alert. National Emergency Coordinator Daniel Mendez emphasized residents should remain prepared rather than panic. 

Captain Daniel Mendez, National Emergency Coordinator, NEMO: “We continue to encourage the population of Belize to continue your preparations. It will not go to waste for sure. And so we also ask you as you continue your preparations do remember that let’s reach out to those members of our community who may be elderly, those who may have special needs and have some sort of disability. Just check in on them also to make sure that their preparations are going well and let’s not forget them as we continue to work on this. NEMO will remain on standby throughout this period. The National Emergency Operations Center is in full operation and we will be monitoring this system for the next few days we are on 24-7 watch along with all of our committees across the country.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Hurricane Beryl has intensified rapidly in the past few days prompting concerns about its potential to cause significant damage. Gordon noted that he is closely monitoring the storm and is uncertain of whether it will once again be strengthened by warm waters in the Caribbean. 

Captain Daniel Mendez, National Emergency Coordinator, NEMO: “We continue to encourage the population of Belize to continue your preparations. It will not go to waste for sure. And so we also ask you as you continue your preparations do remember that let’s reach out to those members of our community who may be elderly, those who may have special needs and have some sort of disability. Just check in on them also to make sure that their preparations are going well and let’s not forget them as we continue to work on this. NEMO will remain on standby throughout this period. The National Emergency Operations Center is in full operation and we will be monitoring this system for the next few days we are on 24-7 watch along with all of our committees across the country.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Beryl, Gordon says the storm’s northwestern path has remained consistent, signaling an impact on Belize, particularly in the north. 

Ronald Gordon, Chief Met Officer, NMS: The uncertainty cone or the probability cone is still relatively wide at the time of landfall. It extends from the extreme northern parts of Belize all the way to the northern tip of Yucatan indicating a high level of uncertainty still at that point. The, I call it a probability cone. It’s a probability distribution with the center being the highest probable part. So that’s the reason why people focus on the center. However, we do know that because there is a smaller chance of something happening doesn’t mean it won’t happen. So there is still the slight chance that it could deviate and move to a more southern part of that track, which would take it into northern Belize and therefore we advise our residents to remain vigilant.” 

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: While Belize braces for the possible impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Mendez urges all residents through official channels and to take necessary precautions without delay. 

Ronald Gordon, Chief Met Officer, NMS: “We have been seeing that the last at least five model runs and I had mentioned before these are updated every six hours and at least five model runs from about the 3PM one that came out yesterday afternoon has showed that the system is going to take this particular path and head towards the Tulum area on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Of course I do reiterate that there is still a cone and a part of that cone still covers the extreme northern part of Belize. But it’s a probability distribution and the highest probably path or the most likely probable path is the center of that cone.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News.

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