NEMO prepares for storm while dismissing evacuation rumors
Later this afternoon, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) provided an update on its preparations to weather Tropical Storm Matthew. Initial projections had the storm reaching Belize early Sunday morning. But according to NEMO coordinator, Noreen Fairweather it will now hit the coast on Saturday evening. News Five spoke to Fairweather in Belmopan and she also clarified reports that callers have been making on radio stations.
Noreen Fairweather, National Coordinator, NEMO
“Apparently we had persons calling in talking about evacuation of the islands. San Pedro and Caye Caulker. We want to inform the public that at no point in time NEMO ordered any evacuation of those Islands. In regards to Kendall Crossing, the Kendall Crossing is not flooded; as a matter of fact the water is three plus feet below the decking of the bridge. We are advising people to make their move early. It’s not that there is any evacuation; this is voluntary movement of people off the islands on to the mainland Belize City.”
“The current forecast and project—it’s still a Tropical Storm, tropical Storm Matthew and its expected landfall is Saturday evening which is a little bit earlier than our projections yesterday actually. The storm has increased in terms of speed which is why the earlier landfall. So we are looking at Saturday evening and the current predictions are that it should be a tropical depression. Obviously these things there are no concrete, hard rule but that is the forecast that we have right now. So it should make landfall on the southern part of Belize/Guatemala/Honduras area and we are looking at Saturday evening and hopefully, if the current path, strength and movement holds through, we should be a tropical depression, which is a good thing. We have our southern command centers in high alert, we have our teams out in the field ready, we have vessels available and on standby, so they need to do any search and rescue off the coast areas. We know we have advised people in the south to stay in port. We are still out there on the alert in the event we have to do any operations in the south.”
Fairweather says that everyone should listen only to official advisories sent to the media from NEMO and not from callers or talk show pundits.Email This Story