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Toledo residents on high alert due to flood

The National Emergency Management Organization activated on Sunday and have been distributing supplies around the country.  When we spoke with NEMO Coordinator Sheldon Defore he says that the Toledo District is on high alert and there are residents who are already evacuating including Punta Negra.

Sheldon Defore, National Coordinator, NEMO: In terms of the activation since Sunday you know we have been on alert and activated throughout the week. The Toledo district is expected to receive the brunt of the rainfall which they’re receiving some rainfall but not as much as Central area. We did anticipate both Central and Southern Belize would have been the two regions of concern and it seems the west is getting more than the south but the south will be getting additional rain fall especially when the depression makes that northern turn tonight that’s when we expect more rainfall to fall to in the southern districts in particular Toledo and you could see water levels continue to rise between tonight and tomorrow so it will be challenging as well dealing and responding to what happens in Toledo depending on the extent but the District Emergency Committee and the District Emergency Coordinator Mr.Kenton Parham has mobilized key positions, certain resources and supplies to meet the potential situation that we could face. Flooding is a very unpredictable type of operation because you don’t know where and when and to what extent it will happen when it occurs and who will be affected so you can only do certain amount of planning in terms of meeting with your search and rescue teams and committee as they have done, look at the assets required to move people. As an example because of the threat of Hurricane Eta the families in Punta Negra self evacuated and came into the mainland of Toledo, Punta Gorda and weathered the storm there.  So Toledo has been mobilized that are coordinating with different NEMO district committees, they are prepositioning stuff and looking at the – we did send down supplies to Machaka where the warehouse is that supports the Toledo district so we are in that mode of response to any scenario. The public is the strength of rumors I keep hearing every time I speak that if NEMO is to be effective and to be successful the public needs to cooperate. If the people are not cooperating and doing what they ought to be doing then we will not be effective and successful. So this is a two way operation we will do our part and we’re calling on the general public to  do their part as well so that we save live and reduce the impact of these events on the country as much as possible.”

Later in our newscast we’ll hear from our Toledo Correspondent on what’s happening on the ground in the south.