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Aug 5, 2016

Belama Phase 3 Devastated by Hurricane Earl

The task of rebuilding is humongous in Belize City. Teams have been deployed to affected areas. This morning, we headed to Phase Three of the sprawling community of Belama where devastation can be seen everywhere.  Many suffered damage to their roofs, in many cases, roofs and houses could not withstand the winds of eighty-miles per hour. Today, we found residents already in the process of rebuilding. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Across the Old Capital work remains ongoing, as residents busy themselves repairing their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl.  One of the hardest hit communities in Belize City is Belama Phase Three.  Already a flood prone neighborhood, the damage left behind is substantial.  Houses have been flattened, roofs flown off and water from above and below has rendered useless an assortment of electronic and household appliances.  It’s day two and the people here are wasting no time piecing together what’s left of their properties.


Francine Banner

Francine Banner, Resident, Belama Phase 3

“We had the roof; we had a verandah front yah. Half of the room mi gone, half of this piece fi di other room mi gone. On the other side, yo had like four zincs rip up and all of that fly away. During this storm, we mi di try see how we mi wah get through it because honestly fi make yo deh ina it di try fix certain things. We mi di try fix on the other side fot he verandah because water was going downstairs so we were trying to cover that up with wah piece of board. We mi di try fix things, but I tell yo, when yo come out ina di storm, this dah noh no good feeling. Dah wah horrific feeling because one spell we had a board up there, weh ih mi di flap and that connect the whole verandah and all of that had zinc due to weh we never want all dah breeze come in, but we never put zinc on t e other side. That let go. Me and my son we di try nail down this and pan the real, we never ever gone through something like this before and I put my son and my life ina jeopardy because we mi di try fix that piece deh.”


Notwithstanding a last-ditch effort to secure certain parts of their home, Francine Banner, like others in this area, suffered significant damage to property.  Just around the corner from where she lives, a group is hammering away at the roof of their house.  The gale that came with the driving rain tore off the sheets of zinc that were nailed to the rafters.


Brian Harris

Brian Harris, Resident, Belama Phase 3

“Actually we noh get nothing much save, but I glad I coulda mi get everybody out ah di spot safely after we see the flood di come. Things started to blow off the roof top and I try mi best to lead everybody to safety dah mi ma house; try make everybody safe and calm themselves down. I get wah cut by mi foot off of a zinc weh mi deh pan the street too. all mi stuff ina mi house get wet up—mi fan, mi TV, dvd…everything destroyed.”


Isani Cayetano

“Yah, describe the experience of being out in the storm trying to save everybody else who lives in this property with you.”


Brian Harris

“Well I dah di head leader so I just tell everybody just stay in a straight line and hold each other and just hold unu head down—noh di watch too much—and just follow me. Water to your chest…I got water to my chest and young baby deh around and all of that. I had to try my best because everybody mi frighten and di cry and noh know weh dehn wah do. We gone sit down on a house over there and rain wet up wi fi about two hours and we di call, call, call and nobody noh come help wi. So I tell them hear what, best thing to do is just go to my peeps house because they have wah high house and dah so I make everybody get safe. But we take wah lick. Right now we not even got stuff like food and dehn thing right now, but we di try do we best right now.”


In the same area, an elevated wooden structure which was being used as a church has been decimated by the forces of nature.


Emilia Sambula

Emilia Sambula, Resident, Belama Phase 3

“We got damage here at the church right now; it had dropped and we just need help with it. We need to get it on the feet again. We got a lot of members in the church and we need to start just get it on the feet. So just a little help would be good you know. Just a little help we need with the church, you know.”


For Brian Harris, an appeal to anyone willing to assist with food or other resources is all that is left.


Isani Cayetano

“Would you take this opportunity to make an appeal to anybody who can assist—either a government agency or some other organization to come and give you guys assistance—to either build back or to supply you with food or what you need?”


Brian Harris

“That woulda be very helpful. Anybody who coulda come and support and give we wah lee handout and try help we out and thing. Anything would work; that wahn do it.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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