Rina interrupts normally busy San Pedro
The threat of Hurricane Rina has been called off but there are many stories that show the preparedness of residents. At San Pedro, the prime tourist destination, residents and visitors took precautions. Those that stayed on the island boarded up their windows and stocked up their pantries, but thousands left the island for high ground. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.
The Streets of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye were like a ghost town. Not only empty, some buildings were boarded up in case Rina would visit. But on the beach side, some residents used the high tide to catch fish, as these kids did. But the evacuation of about three thousand had an impact on commerce and businesses such as Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop were without jobs.
“The first thing we did is get everything off the dock—make sure everything is safe. Thanks to the good lord that nothing happened and so we’re bringing everything back outside. If it had come it would affect us but like I said, thank god it didn’t come. But it did affect us because we had job two days and because of this we couldn’t work and if it would have come, they wouldn’t have work for a whole week maybe or more. Sorry for the poor neighbors in Mexico. Sorry for them.”
Manuel Heredia, Chairman, NEMO San Pedro
“The way it happened at this point, very little damage to the tourism industry indeed. I think within a day everything will be back to normal and I’m sure that most of them were preparing for the big season hat was right around the corner. So I don’t think it would have any effect on tourism industry.”
But far from the glamour of La Isla Bonita, atop the London bridges of the Boca Del Rio Area, Clemente Martinez stayed at home.
Clemente Martinez, Resident, Boca Del Rio
“They told us that nothing will be happening and the hurricane had passed over us. It si the rumor that the people are spreading here in the San Mateo area, but we are watching out stuff so that nobody can go with them. We have been told that if the condition worsens for us here in the San Mateo area, we can eventually go to church to seek shelter.”
And though two red flags of the warning system blew in the wind, after exiting his three pm meeting, Manuel Heredia was glad that the islands would be spared as Rina moved onto Mexico.
“Every other area except for Corozal is out of the danger zone. At this point they have agreed that our people that moved from San Pedro will start to come back to the island as early as 8:30 tomorrow and going as far as five in the evening. So San Pedro may be spared from the worse. According to our technical advisor, it seems that very little possibility of that turning after it goes around Cuba and coming back to Belize again—very little possibility at this point.”
Frank Panton, Meterologist/Hydrologist (Retired)
“We might be happy that we won’t be expecting extremely serious damaging conditions from the weather, but as far as the track of the hurricane is concerned it is still expected to continue the same way along the track almost and it should come near enough to the island as near as it will about ten o’clock tonight or after midnight. The hurricane force winds extends about thirty miles from the center. We expect it to come about sixty miles or a little less to the island of san Pedro at its nearest approach. That will put us in the area of tropical storm force winds.”
Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.