14/41 – Boledo lovers would find these numbers interesting as there is Tropical Depression Fourteen out in the Caribbean and Belize latest data shows forty one new cases of Covid-19. We start our newscast telling you about the Tropical Depression Fourteen which is expected to upgrade to Tropical Storm Marco within a few hours. The center of this system is less than 300 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico. According to the National Hurricane Centre, Tropical Depression Fourteen is generating widespread showers and thunderstorms along with gusty winds in the western Caribbean Sea, occasionally wrapping into the Cayman Islands, Honduras, Nicaragua, western Cuba and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It will approach the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico on Saturday. A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning are in effect for portions of Mexico’s eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Punta Herrero northward to Cancun, including Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. A tropical storm warning is in effect for parts of the Yucatan Peninsula from north and west of Cancun to Dzilam. This means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 24 hours. This system is forecast to approach the Yucatan Peninsula as a strong tropical storm, or possibly a hurricane, by late Saturday. As it makes its way north of Belize, forecasters are saying we will have rains and strong winds. As we reported yesterday, NEMO assured Love News that they are on alert and ready to activate when the time comes. Also speaking on the clash of weather systems and Covid-19 was Prime Mnister Dean Barrow.
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “We know that this is the hurricane season. There’s a tropical wave that might become a tropical depression, that reminds us at the very least that we’re subject to hurricanes. NEMO and the indefatigable CEO Caucus have been working to see what arrangements we will make for the sheltering of COVID positive citizens; you can’t put them in the same shelter space as the regular population. Again it’s not to tell you that we have an answer now but just to let you know that the authorities are working please while you legitimately complain about shortcomings do recognize the size, the magnitude of this problem for a country with limited resources and knowledge please the fact that our absolutely dedicated public servants are doing comparatively speaking one hell of a job in trying to combat this thing.”
Advisory #2 from the National Meteorological Service indicates that the system will make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula, north of Belize, late on Saturday. If the system takes the southernmost path of the forecast cone it will make landfall just north of the Belize/Mexico border. In that case, the northern parts of the country would feel the greatest impact including heavy rainfall of up to 2-4 inches and gusty winds. The rest of the country, however, could also experience heavy rainfall and possible flooding from the outer bands of this system. Should the storm shifts and the forecast worsens for Belize NEMO would activate its national mechanism and declare Phase II – Red I to put in effect a provisional Tropical Storm Watch for the coast of Belize. The Tropical Storm Watch would mean that (1) people will need to put their family plan into action, (2) the public would be advised to shelter in place in a safe building, (3) school managements would be notified that NEMO needs to access schools as shelters, (4) a price freeze would be issued for all goods, (5) public and private essential agencies and utility companies would be informed to release their employees to seek shelter for their safety, (5) road infrastructure works would have to prioritize actions that will enable mass evacuation and (6) media houses and telephone service providers would be advised to secure their communication infrastructure, including other actions.