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Nov 3, 2022

Hurricane Lisa Pummeled Belize City Severely

The all-clear has been given, but Hurricane Lisa pummeled Belize City and surrounding communities on Wednesday evening before drifting inland. It left in its wake significant damage to properties. Lisa formed in the eastern Caribbean Sea as an area of disturbance last week and took a westerly track. It was initially expected to make landfall near Dangriga, but it jogged slightly northwards on its westerly track and slammed into the coast near Belize City. This morning, the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, held a press conference to update the country on initial assessments to damages and assistance that will be forthcoming. Chief Meteorologist, Ronald Gordon said Belize City bore the brunt of the winds from the onset.


Ronald Gordon, Chief Meteorologist

Ronald Gordon

“Hurricane force winds – or near hurricane force winds began affecting Belize City around one p.m., or so, more or less, yesterday afternoon. Just to give you some information in terms of our measurements, we have two automatic weather stations in Belize City – one at the Municipal Airstrip and one at the Port of Belize. Both these stations recorded near hurricane force winds with gusts to upper category one hurricane force. We had gusting to ninety-two miles per hour at one point and that was around three-fifteen more or less, when the system was making landfall. Here at the airport we measured a minimum pressure of nine ninety millibars, which is equivalent to the minimum pressure that the system was carrying at the time. So that indicates to us that the system was crossing. The eye was over us. We saw it from radar imagery as well. The eye was distinctly clear on the radar, not on satellite but on radar. We saw the clear area without any rainfall and that was where the eye was. Unfortunately for Belize City and for us here in Ladyville, we took a battering. We were on the northern part of the eye wall on the outer edge. Therefore, we did not experience a calm, so-to-speak. The winds came in from the north and northeast – very strong, very powerful – eventually shifted to the east and then to the southeast. When it shifted to the southeast later into the evening and night, they were not as strong because the southern side of the system, or the winds coming from the south are normally lighter. So in that case, we began to get some ease from the system and eventually by around eight o’clock more or less, we were certainly in a better condition. At that point the system was heading more inland and I got report from Belmopan that they began experiencing significant wind, most likely to tropical storm force and the system eventually exited our country at which point we downgraded the hurricane warning to a tropical storm warning.”

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