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Oct 5, 2000

Red Cross will help flood victims

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Today the Belize Red Cross met with representatives of the American Red Cross to brief them on what plans are in place to assist people who have been affected by hurricane Keith. The Belize Red Cross has made an assessment and have decided to bring immediate assistance to those villages in the western and northern districts endangered by floods.

Arturo Vasquez, Disaster Recovery Management, Red Cross

“We have come up with a plan. Yesterday the committee met here at about 7:30, 8:00 and we decided that we would take action more in the northern part of the districts in the rural areas. The plan is we will put more emphasis on the northern districts, the rural areas of Belize and Orange Walk where there is a lot flooding because after an assessment of the islands we noticed that there is a lot of help out there. We are planning to contribute in providing food, supplies, vehicles and boats to be able to get to those people who are isolated. That’s really where we are helping”

Frank Panton, Hydrologist

“Okay what is happening right now is that after the hurricane has past, the rains that fell which were torrential rains over most of the country are now collecting in the rivers and streams of Belize and causing floods downstream off the major rivers. The particular rivers involved I would say the Monkey River from the south, the Sibun river, the Belize River, the Rio Hondo and the New River and all the other rivers, the smaller rivers in the north and east coast of Belize. They are many small villages along these rivers particularly running along the northern and western roads and also the Burrell Boom road that goes into the interior of the country out to Hillbank and it is in these areas that we have many small villages which are agricultural villages and they will be isolated in a little while by the severe floods that are now developing in these areas.”

The areas threatened by the Belize River are Big Falls, Willow’s Bank, St. Paul’s Bank and all the other villages coming down to Crooked Tree. There is another serious flood occurring further north in the area of Blue Creek, San Antonio, San Roman, Douglas and the other villages leading up to the Mexican border. Panton says depending on the location, he expects that floods could last from two weeks to four months.

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