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Sep 3, 2020

Hurricane Nana: Back to Normal for Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker

San Pedro is reeling from the COVID pandemic but on Wednesday residents pulled themselves up to brace the impending hurricane. Protecting life and securing property were foremost. By this morning when the all clear was given, on san Pedro and Caye Caulker, the cleaning up of the beach began in earnest. Here is Duane Moody.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In the Belize District, the winds and rain associated with Hurricane Nana were lower than expected. Early on Wednesday, challenged by the pandemic, anxious residents kicked into gear to focus on hurricane preparedness plans.. On the islands of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye, residents and tourism stakeholders were quick to secure their properties and boats. They weren’t taking any chances, having been tremendously impacted by past disasters.

 

Dion Vansen

Dion Vansen, Senior Reporter, San Pedro Sun

“From early in the day and into the afternoon, people were preparing, they were boarding up their houses. They were securing their boats, moving them from the front of the island to the lagoon side which is on the west side. I also saw people who were securing their docks to make sure they were stronger in the case of any surge. Even though the predictions were that the storm was going more to the south, people on the island still took all the necessary precautions and secured their properties.”

 

Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady, Caye Caulker Village

“When the warnings came out, the island went into high gear which is fine. You can never be too prepared; it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. So everybody started to board up their windows, getting food supply. From our angle, started to prepare the shelter as well and we waited on word for NEMO when it was time to open the shelter. Boats were being pulled up; everything was in high gear—various offices on the island were securing their equipment.”

 

Seleny Villanueva-Pott

While there was a level of precipitation off and on, there were mostly squalls throughout the night. That’s the extent of the storm experienced by these prime tourist destinations.

 

Seleny Villanueva-Pott

“About 10:30, we started to witness some squalls of showers and gusts of wind. It felt like what we would consider a north closer to October/November and you could feel a change in the air. It felt good because it has been hot, but that what we started to experience maybe ten. Around 11:30 that’s when rain came down and it was harder that the first one and the wind came in gusts and you could actually feel it blowing a little harder. And then closer to midnight, we had wind.”

 

Dion Vansen

“It didn’t feel like any big storm was coming. There was a couple or maybe for like ten to twenty minutes, it began to rain after six o’clock. The rain was off and on. It was a bit strong at the beginning and then it poured down for a couple minutes and afterwards it stopped. It was just drizzling and then after eight o’clock it didn’t rain again. It was just slight breeze. Nothing strong, like a normal breeze.”

 

The San Pedro Town Council along with stakeholders today began a beach cleanup, following a quick assessment this morning which indicated that debris, including sargassum and other objects had washed onto the beaches. Luckily, there was no damage to any properties on either island.

 

Dion Vansen

“This morning you could see that there was a lot of debris on the beach; a lot of sargassum, you know sea grass and other objects that were washed ashore during the night. So far, as I could see, there were no significant damages to any properties.”

 

Seleny Villanueva

“We do have some debris on the beaches; it is nothing major. We experienced some erosion, but it is nothing significant so it is not much to talk about, thankfully. We are very fortunate; Nana was good to us.”

 

A number of businesses have reopened and activities on either island have returned to normal; as much as is allowed under the countrywide state of emergency that is.  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.

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