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Nov 3, 2022

Belize City is Ravaged by Hurricane Lisa

Belize City has been racked by Hurricane Lisa.  Homes and businesses have been destroyed by the sheer force of winds that cut swaths through buildings big and small.  Twenty-four hours ago, the Old Capital was battered by heavy rains and violent winds, as the severe weather system made landfall south of this municipality.  Residents hunkered down as the torrential downpour and howling winds were unrelenting.  At three o’clock this morning, the storm was over but not before leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.  We begin our newscast tonight by looking at the immediate consequences of the category one hurricane that ravaged Belize City.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The aftermath of Hurricane Lisa is being calculated by residents and business owners who suffered significant losses during the passage of the category one storm on Wednesday.  Damages are expected to be in the millions, as homes and businesses across Belize City were leveled.  The City Emergency Management Organization, CEMO, has been on the ground since yesterday and continues its efforts in the wake of the natural disaster.


Melony Dawson, CEMO Liaison Officer

Melony Dawson

“We received many reports from residents, calling into the [Emergency Operations Center] EOC with roof damages, some houses collapsed and different situations.  Furthermore, this morning, we went out to do a preliminary assessment and then our [Damage and Needs Assessment] DANA team, they went out as well.  They are there on the grounds working.  So with that, we will be getting official information of what the damages will be so far in the city.”


Unofficially, as many as fifty houses collapsed in Belize City during the cyclone.  There is an abundance of zinc sheets strewn across many properties, as rooftops were torn off residential and commercial structures.


Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis, Belize City Resident

“The whole roof, the interior inside, the appliances, everything gone.  Nothing saved.  That happened bout three o’clock, yes, when the weather was passing.”


Isani Cayetano

“I gather that you stayed at home yesterday through the passage of [the storm].”


Sharon Lewis

“We were staying at home, sitting down, and we were watching the wind and we just hear wah noise and I was sitting at the table.  I get up for five minutes to get a glass of water and then the whole roof came in.”


This is Sharon Lewis’ property on Orange Street.  Like many who live in the Old Capital, Hurricane Lisa wreaked havoc on the upper covering of her house.  Across town on Wilson Street, Sister Cecilia’s Home for the Elderly is also severely damaged.  The shelter for senior citizens was partially destroyed by gale-force winds.

Voice of: Employee, Sister Cecilia’s Home for the Elderly

“It was rough for the residents, most of all.  We had to rush them from their dorm into the dining room because the whole roof fell off… It was terrible.  So we started to bring them… noh me, but the staff started to bring them across and then they started to ker who supposed to mi go da di private ward went there.  But di experience mi hard because things started to fly off and a lot of things started to happen, you know, when the storm and I mean, you feel the place starting to vibrate a little.”


It will take a lot to repair the extensive damages at the convalescent home.  News Five understands that an estimate will be conducted on Friday to determine the cost of the work that needs to be done.


Isani Cayetano

“How do you guys see this place coming back, in terms of the amount of work that is necessary to rebuild?”


Voice of: Employee

“Well I noh know, I think we mussi wahn haftu ask fi donation fi build back the place, you know.  I cyant tell yoh nuff about that part, but I believe ih wahn build back by the help of God.”


The streets of Belize City are littered with debris and various cleanup teams are busy clearing as much of the fragments as they possibly can.  Also evaluating the destruction is the Relief and Supply Subcommittee of the Belize City Council.


Melony Dawson

“[The] Relief and Supply Subcommittee also will be out doing their assessments to help residents with supplies and so forth.  So right now, we are on the ground working and trying to see how much we can help the residents in the city.  I also want to make mention that the Belize City Council in collaboration with [Belize] Waste Control, they will be working with us to clean up the city for four days.”


Isani Cayetano reporting 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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