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Jan 11, 2018

NEMO, CEMO, Red Cross Assess on-the-Ground Response, Find Good and Bad

Vulnerable populations, such as the stevedores who were out on the sugar boat on Tuesday night, should be covered in terms of planning by their employers as well as their own personal plans. CEMO Coordinator, Phillip Willoughby also drew our attention to an erroneous social media post claiming that a tsunami would hit around four-thirty Wednesday morning, long after the all clear was given, which alarmed some Belizeans. The lesson from that is, as always, to pay attention only to official NEMO and Met Office bulletins and not rumors. Willoughby gave some do’s and don’ts to be observed in these sensitive times.


Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby, C.E.M.O.

“What I saw was, one, persons assembling on the coastline, which should have been a no-no. I guess that they were intrigued that the water receded…”


Aaron Humes

“And there was an explanation for that in the end.”


Philip Willoughby

“Right. So you had persons on Marine Parade, down in the Yabra area, looking at this phenomenon. Persons with adverse disabilities – mental disabilities, substance abuse; for some reason or another, there are a huge number of persons on Regent Street, in front of the Old Commercial Center. For one reason or the next a number of businesses were opened, business as usual, drinking and that type of thing, that type of socialization taking place. Also the long lines of vehicles heading to gas stations; the long lines of vehicles on the George Price Highway and the Philip Goldson Highway which should have been a no-no.”


Lily Bowman

Lily Bowman, Director General, Belize Red Cross

“Internally, we were getting ready; we were getting prepared as a national society in the event that we would have had to act. However, it is always the case that you ensure that you are securing your family and yourself before anything, and like everybody else, our members encouraged people that were texting – on Facebook, if people were asking what to do and I myself got a lot of questions by text especially – ‘what should we do? What should we do?’And first of all, I encouraged people to pack a bag, quickly, and to start moving to higher ground to a higher strong building. I was impressed, though, I must say, as to the promptness in which NEMO and CEMO acted in preparing and warning the people.”


Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister

“I da no one a di people fi give myself a grade. But the general public out there responded to us, to the job that we executed last night in terms of the warning of our people and so on; I believe the general public will be able to give us that grade. From my point of view I think we have done well – we had our coordinators in every area from Toledo all the way up to Corozal, watching the movements of the water in the ocean, so we’re able to be on track and on cue. So we have done what we could have done to warn our people, and I believe with that said, I think we have done – when you have done your best, only Jah in heaven can tell you otherwise.”

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.

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