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Jan 11, 2018

Assessment Coming for Shelters and Bridges

Edmond Castro

For the most part, none of the countries in the region reported any damage to buildings and other infrastructure. But here in Belize the Ministry of Works, supported by the National Emergency Management Organization, is conducting assessments of Belize’s established bridges to ensure that they are sound and safe. The City Emergency Management Organization, according to Councilor Philip Willoughby, will also expand its annual probe of hurricane shelters in the Old Capital, most of them schools, to assess whether they can also double as proper shelters in the wake of a potential tsunami threat.

 

Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister

“From NEMO’s point of view we hand that over to the Ministry of Works. Because of the shaking from the earthquake, we have to make sure we assess all the bridges, to make sure that we don’t have cracks in those bridges, and that they are safe for vehicular traffic, especially for big trucks crossing and traversing back and forth on all our bridges. So that is something we are doing as we speak, and we will continue to do that throughout and also assess some of the buildings throughout the country.”

 

Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby, CEMO

“I had a conversation with the deputy Chief Education Officer, and in that discussion we discussed that yes, there are schools on the hurricane list, that are named as hurricane shelters, and what we will seek to do is have the engineer and the Fire Department – the shelter inspector team, go and look at all schools and see if these structures are sound enough to be utilized during one of these episodes, where families, residents can utilize once there is a tsunami watch or tsunami alert. So that would include all the schools…”

 

Aaron Humes

“So this would be in addition to the usual check that you do for the hurricane season?”

 

Philip Willoughby

“Yes, and other two-storey buildings.”

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