Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Disasters, Featured » Families Displaced by Flood Waters
Jun 18, 2020

Families Displaced by Flood Waters

The water levels at the Macal River and Mopan River rose significantly; while the Belize and Sibun River was beginning to rise this afternoon. A number of families were displaced and had to seek refuge in shelters as water from flash floods washed through their homes and communities. Hard hit were several villages along the George Price Highway where families need urgent assistance. Here is News Five’s Duane Moody.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Flash floods are being reported across the country due to heavy rains overnight and into this morning. Mile forty-six on the George Price Highway just outside of Belmopan near Rio Cocos, the highway is completely under several inches of water; the current from the rushing waters forced a bus off the pavement.


Linden Flowers

Sr. Supt. Linden Flowers, Western Regional Commander, Belize Police Department

“Earlier this morning, somewhere in the area of Rio Cocos, a bus—I don’t know how many persons were onboard; it wasn’t one of the regular line buses—was pushed off the road by the waters in the area of Rio Coco. No one was injured; nobody was seen there or gone to any of our institutions for medical attention or otherwise.”


The already affected Saint Matthew’s Village on the George Price Highway has been hit once again and tonight there are about ten families who had to be evacuated from their homes and are now staying at a church, which is being used as a shelter.  Esperanza Arriaza says that with the collapsed portion of the highway, she was unable to host the displaced families at the primary school which is designated as an official shelter.


Esperanza Arriaza

Esperanza Arriaza, Chairperson, St. Matthew’s Village

“This morning I was very concerned because of the heavy rains last night and from the previous flooding, we have a lot of people that live in areas that are known to flood. So I contacted them via phone and they said that the water level rise even higher than the previous flood.  So I was a bit concerned about the crossing since the bridge break. Our concern was how to move these people to the shelter, which is the school, but we can’t cross them anymore. So I ended up getting in contact with a pastor at a church and we have them at higher grounds in the area where they can go and shelter.”


Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister

“NEMO is out already. We already got the preliminary assessment in terms of number of people that need to vacate their homes. This time is a little bit worst than two weeks ago. This is what we do every year, so we have a competent team at NEMO that know exactly what to do and we will move those people from the flood prone areas to shelters and we will take care of them until they could get back safely in their homes and provide them with the necessary cleaning solutions and whatever else that we can provide them with so that they can get their lives back together.”


According to NEMO Minister, Edmond Castro, over the past few weeks, flooding has been recorded across the length and breadth of the country.


Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro

“We have flooding in the Saint Matthew’s area, we have flooding in Cotton Tree; we have flooding below. We have flooding in the south on the Hummingbird Highway, we have flooding in Bella Vista in the Toledo District. Last week, we were dealing with the flooding in San Roman and those areas up north. But that section was flooded from the rain from the north that flooded the Rio Hondo. But this is more centrally located. So we will receive more flooding in this area. And I am sure that similarly it is going on along the Coastal Highway.”


But in terms of the work done in Saint Matthew’s Village, Arriaza says that it was not enough and is asking for assistance to clear the drainage in the area to allow for flood waters to run off quickly.


Esperanza Arriaza

“We had the Ministry of Works coming in. The guy went with us and we showed them the area. They promised that they were going to do a proper drainage cleaning and so far yes, they had a machine in the village cleaning, but it was a small portion that they cleaned and the drain still don’t have somewhere that it can go to the creek. The little that they did is work that people could have done with their shovels. So we need the Ministry of Works to look into this issue coming from Jaguar Paw junction down to clean those drainage because they are not proper. The culverts that people put are small culverts that cannot hold the capacity of water coming.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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

Comments are closed