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Aug 7, 2012

Shelters open for residents seeking safety in Belize City

While the category one hurricane has shifted up north, as a precaution, residents in the City were provided with shelter to weather the heavy rains. On the north side Pallotti High, All Saints Primary, Trinity Methodist and the UB Education Campus in West Landivar were opened. On the Southside, Saint John’s Vianney, Grace Primary, Salvation Army, Queen Square, Saint Michael’s High School, Unity Presbyterian, Saint Martin de Porres and Saint Luke Methodist Schools were also readied. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

After the evacuation of residents from the cayes early in the morning and the bridge had been swung to allow boats to moor; Belize City residents begun early to walk and ride to shelters.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“Shelters are opened as we speak. I just left the EOC and Miss Margaret McKenzie, who is the head of that aspect of our organization, deployed with a contingent of police officers and they went to four shelters—two in the north side and two in the south side—and those shelters are being opened as we speak now. We’ve made announcements on the news to indicate to residents that they can now go to these shelters.”

 

Unity Presbyterian at the end of Antelope Street received people from the neighborhood from as early as three in the afternoon.

 

Jose Sanchez

“I see you’re bringing your sponge so you plan to stay the night.

 

Robert Moody

Robert Moody, Seeking Shelter at Unity Presbyterian

“Yes.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Now what made you decide to come out? Are you concerned about your home or just the weather itself?”

 

Robert Moody

“Just the weather.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“And I’m assuming your other family members will join you later?

 

Robert Moody

“Yes”

 

Jose Sanchez

“How many of you live in a household and how many are coming across?”

 

Robert Moody

“Like four of us.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Your ma, pa…”

 

Robert Moody

“Yeah, ma, sisters and that’s it.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“So how come you are coming first? Are you trying to secure a spot?

 

Robert Moody

“Yes sir.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Okay, have you found your location yes where you’re going to spend the night?

 

Robert Moody

“Yes, Unity Presbyterian at the top.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Although the media as well as the government, the City Council have done everything to disseminate the information to the public, for those few people who were not listening, if they need to simply call someone to be informed of where to go, is there an emergency number?”

 

Darrell Bradley

“We have the emergency numbers at the EOC and persons can call me on my cell number. My number is 602-6784 and we could disseminate information to them directly. People have been using the numbers, but as you have indicated, persons—I mean we’re Belizeans so we take a—we move in last minute fashion. But we’re trying to encourage persons just to think about their own personal safety, put in place an emergency plan. We’re not expecting the worst in Belize City, but still people have to prepared and they have to take a proactive approach to ensure their own safety.”

 

Ernesto may not have a major impact on the country, but it has woken everyone to hurricane season 2012. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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