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Aug 8, 2016

164 Persons Remain in Shelters

While we have been spared the loss of life by Hurricane Earl, families are still in shelters having suffered substantive damages to their roofs, belongings or their houses. A total of one hundred and sixty-four persons are living in the shelters, most of them in the City. Seventy-eight persons are at the Unity Presbyterian, St. John’s Vianney and St. Luke in Belize City.  The islands of San Pedro and Caye Caulker have nine persons housed at the San Pedro High School.  Sixteen persons are in shelters in Teakettle, fifteen are in More Tomorrow, thirty-one in Saint Matthews and fifteen are in Cotton Tree. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Thousands of persons sought refuge at shelters across the country to weather the effects of Hurricane Earl. It’s been five days since the category one hurricane made landfall just outside of Belize City and while there were no record of human causalities, many have been left homeless. As it currently stands, shelters remain open in the Cayo and Belize districts, where there are still one hundred and sixty-four persons being taken care of.  In Belize City, there are seventy-eight persons at the Unity Presbyterian School, Saint John Vianney School and Saint Luke’s Methodist School.


Phillip Willoughby

Phillip Willoughby, CEMO

“I know that up to yesterday, we had a hundred and eight persons in the shelters. I forwarded the list to you, but what happened is that during the day, people would leave the shelter and then night time they would come back.”


Jahaira Tillett and her family have been staying at the Unity Presbyterian shelter because their houses were flattened by Hurricane Earl. The wooden structures might not have been much for others, but Tillett says they stood on the sidelines as the place they called home was shattered by the winds and rains.


Jahaira Tillett

Jahaira Tillett, Displaced by Hurricane

“Wednesday night we stand up dah the school and we watch my house completely gone down like my sister one. We have nothing; right now we di just try pick up the pieces of board weh left because it complete crush it up. I mean the flooring, everything…it crush it up. We di try take the lee pieces of things that we have left and try knock up something so that we could go back home cause I asthmatic and I done di get sick. So all the while we never had current; mi di sleep with the window open and all the draft weh di come in; we di on the ground. So then we want to go home. If we should at least sleep on the ground, we could sleep on the ground home, yo understand. I mean the night, we just watch how everything the tear off and I noh know how it mi feel, but dah noh wah nice feeling fi watch.  Everything weh yo own and weh yo work fah—it might look like trash or whatever to somebody else—but dah mi my home and dah like everything just gone. I noh have nothing and I just have to deh yah just di wait.”


Several corporate citizens have been assisting with providing basic needs and food to those still at the shelters. On Tuesday, the Eastern Division South of the Police Department will be providing food for them.


Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“We’ll be having a meet and feed day—we normally have a meet and greet on Wednesday—but tomorrow we will be having a meet and feed where we will be providing a hot plate of food to the people in St. Luke and I think St. John’s Vianney Hurricane Shelters tomorrow afternoon for midday as a part of our community policing program from south side Belize City.”


Phillip Willoughby

“I take this opportunity to say thank you to the Indian Community, Mister Arun Hotchandani, Mister Denish from Wellworth. They fed the people in the shelters warm meals yesterday. They will go out this afternoon to look at the person’s living conditions from within the hurricane shelters and we hope that from within that itself, we see that others from within the communities are giving back selflessly of themselves and their time and resources.”


Jahaira Tillett, Shelteree

“They handle we good; I can’t say no. I never see so much food before ina mi life. They give we food, they give we water, they give we everything. I can’t complain about that….clothes everything.”


According to CEMO’s Phillip Willoughby, the Emergency Coordination Center remains operational until further notice. But those whose houses have been damaged by the storm must lodge a report with the Department of Human Services on Regent Street. Duane Moody for News Five.

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