Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Disasters » Kendal causeway underwater as rivers rise again
Jun 27, 2008

Kendal causeway underwater as rivers rise again

Story PictureTonight the temporary causeway constructed by the Ministry of Works three weeks ago to replace the Kendall Bridge is totally inundated, making crossing by vehicle impossible. This was the mode of crossing the Sittee River today after torrential rains caused the river to swell for the second time in one month. Canoes and a ferry operated by Belize Defence Force soldiers were again taking travelers to and from one side of the riverbank to the next, but tragedy struck when one of the canoes with travelers prepared to make the crossing. A huge tree at the base of the riverbank gave way to the strong current and collapsed on them, causing serious head injury to a Canadian missionary who was in the boat, and lesser injuries to a teen. Our camera did not catch when the tree fell, but filmed what transpired immediately after from across the other side of the river. B.D.F. personnel, who were themselves using the crossing, immediately sprung into action and administered emergency aid to the injured and took them to the Southern Regional Hospital for medical attention. Second Lieutenant with the Belize Defence Force, Elroy Awardo, explained that the soldiers that just completed an operation elsewhere and were travelling back to Fairweather camp in Toledo.

Elroy Awardo, Second Lieutenant, B.D.F.
“We were trying to ferry some of our soldiers over to return to base because we just completed some operations in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Then of course, we came across this situation so we tried to help out the civilian population, trying to ferry them across over and about to try and resume their normal business.”

Marion Ali
“Right, and then disaster struck, a tree fell and some passengers on the boat were hurt?”

Elroy Awardo
“Yes, we came across—two persons were injured; one person was critical and the next one was still in an unconscious state. Therefore, we dispatched our medic to come across the river trying to give them some aid, some first aid so they could be carried to Dangriga hospital for further treatment.”

Marion Ali
“Can you tell is what you observed? You were one of the men who was intimately involved in the rescue.”

Elroy Awardo
“Yes ma’am. Well, actually, I directed the medic to come over to actually give the person some medical attention because I actually saw the tree fall on top of the lady herself.”

Marion Ali
“And then she was trapped underneath right?”

Elroy Awardo
“Yes ma’am. We assisted them in getting the individual out, getting them some medical attention. Thereafter we tried to ferry them over the river back to Dangriga hospital.”

Marion Ali
“Okay, the tree fell on her. Can you say where on her and what you observed in terms of the injury?”

Elroy Awardo
“What I observed it was on her head. She was bleeding on her head so I am suspecting that it was something serious. Therefore, I had to call the expert, which is one of the medics that we had and give her some medical attention.”

Marion Ali
“Now, the river is still rising and very quickly at that. Can we expect—people need to cross this river, it links P.G. to the rest of the country, Toledo I should say. Can people expect that it will continue to rise and are they in danger of more incidents such as what has happened?”

Elroy Awardo
“Well, actually, what we are doing right now is we are trying to get all the debris that is on the side of the river that is in danger of falling on people to be cleared so they could continue to ferry people across. But if you could observe, the river is still rising therefore we dispatched one of our boats to assist in ferrying people across.”

Marion Ali
“I don’t surmise you will be able to tell us about the causeway that got washed away or what the B.D.F.’s role will be in trying to put something together quickly so vehicles can again cross?”

Elroy Awardo
“I believe that we will dispatch some of our engineers to come over to assist in the reconstruction of the causeway.”

It should take the Ministry of Works about two to three days to complete the job, but work won’t start until the river returns to its normal level. Meanwhile, the National Meteorological Service has warned that many rivers in Belize are rising and have alerted that people downstream of Hope Creek and in the area itself should be vigilant for flash floods once again.

Be Sociable, Share!


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*