People who live in the low lying areas and those who are in houses that may not be able to endure a strong storm are the ones who most times are left to seek refuge in hurricane shelters. While Belize will be spared hurricane forced winds and rains this weekend the hurricane season remains open until the end of November and there is no telling what would happen. Our newsroom took a ride on the south side of Belize City to see just how prepared residents are for a tropical storm or hurricane. We join Naim Borges for that story.
With an incoming storm just north of Belize and with the Atlantic Hurricane Season well underway there are many Belizeans who will be caught unprepared not because they don’t know what preparations are needed but because their livelihoods have been interrupted and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought and added strain to many families. On the south side of Belize families living in the areas of Port Loyola, Lake Independence and Collet whose only entrance to their homes are London Bridges and Picado Roads are concerned for their safety. The structure of their homes are vulnerable and the money is just not there for hurricane supplies. In one instance a woman who resides in the Gungulung area for the past seven years no work has been done to the streets in that location.
Resident: “We have to walk through on pallets. If hurricane comes we won’t have anywhere to go because we won’t want to take our children to hurricane shelters because we’re afraid of the coronavirus. We have like seven to eight children live back here walking through this water everyday so if this flood comes we won’t know where we will go. The bridge when the water rises the bridge goes its own way so we don’t know what we will do back here we won’t go to a shelter that’s for sure. We couldn’t come out of our house because the water was up to the step there you can’t go anywhere you have to keep in until the flood goes down. I just want to know if anybody could assist us back here because it’s women and children who live back here and we need a little sand back here to fill up back here because it’s only water that is back here where we live. When school reopens we don’t know how they will pass to go to school because of the water that is about and the bridge that moves.”
There is another case of a resident from the Port Loyola area who told us that because she lives near the sea heavy rains flood her house and water sometimes rises as high as two feet. Another resident from the Gungulung area told our newsroom that he spent all his money preparing for the reopening of school which has since been postponed. For now these residents will be okay as the storm is slowly drifting away from Belize and poses no direct threat to the country. But the question is what happens when a storm comes knocking at our doors ?