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Aug 20, 2001

Islanders evacuate to mainland

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San Pedranos were not the only Belizeans making a temporary migration to the mainland. When News 5′s Ann-Marie Williams visited the Belize City Marine Terminal she found that other islanders were also on the move.

Ann-marie Williams, Reporting

Taking no chances with tropical storm Chantal, residents of Caye Caulker were this morning encouraged to move to higher ground…and many did just that.

Owner of Padre Tours, Captain Jose Rodriguez, says it’s been an especially hectic time for water taxis. He said fifteen boats were part of yesterday’s evacuation exercise.

Jose Rodriguez, Owner, Padre Tours

“They say they’re gonna close it 12:00, so I think I have just one more trip. Between midday and 3:00, they gave us that time to try to protect our boats and put them up at safe spots. The last one was much bigger, so you have some people who don’t want to face it again, so they want to come on the mainland.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Are you concerned? It’s not even a hurricane yet.”

Jose Rodriguez

“Well not really, because I pass the last one Caye Caulker and that was a big one and this is not a hurricane yet, so I guess we’re gonna stay on the island again.”

And Catherine Williams, who lives on San Pedro with her husband and two babies will not stay on the island again.

Catherine Williams, San Pedro Resident

“I came from San Pedro because the storm is very ugly over there, lots of rain and storm. I’m afraid because I pass Keith over there, it was ugly, so that’s why I came here. I don’t want to stay over there.”

Eva Guzman too learnt a few things from Hurricane Keith. She left Caye Caulker yesterday but came to pick up her partner today.

Eva Guzman, Caye Caulker Resident

“I’m waiting for my boyfriend, so I’m waiting for the next boat.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“You all packed up a lot of stuff to bring in?”

Eva Guzman

“Yeah. I bring some in yesterday, so I’m waiting for him to bring the rest of the stuff.”

Ann-Marie Williams

You wanted to come in last year?”

Eva Guzman

“Yeah. But we didn’t have time to come in, it was too late.”

This couple on vacation from Canada took the boat from Caye Caulker to Belize City before it was too late.

Ron Gordon, Canadian Tourist

“At 8:00 we rushed, went there, the last boat at 8:30 was leaving, we missed it, but fifteen minutes later another boat came evacuated another fifty people or so.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Have you been in a hurricane?”

Kathy Gordon, Canadian Tourist

“Yes I have. When I was six. I was in a boat that time and I almost died. The boat turned over and I almost drown.”

Daisy Cartagena has no fear; she’s going back home to Caye Caulker.

Daisy Cartagena, Caye Caulker Resident

“Because I have my family there, I can’t stay here.

Ann-Marie Williams

“I just heard they’re trying to evacuate people off the cayes, aren’t you afraid?”

Daisy Cartagena

“No. I came in this morning, but it was all right. I think it will be all right still, going back.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Do you feel like you have to be near your family?”

Daisy Cartagena

“Yes.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“So why not bring them in?”

Daisy Cartagena

“Well because we have a place to stay there. Everything will be all right.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“Did you spend Keith out there?”

Daisy Cartagena

“Oh Yes.”

Ann-Marie Williams for News 5.

Latest reports from Caye Caulker and San Pedro indicate that while winds have increased, no significant damage has yet been caused to either community.


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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