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Nov 4, 2022

Businesses and Residences Take Stock of Hurricane Damages

An ongoing assessment to determine the extent of damage caused by Hurricane Lisa has seen a number of government and non-government agencies coming together to evaluate the losses in dollars and cents.  Today, we visited several businesses and homes on both sides of the Haulover Creek and what we saw is nothing short of dreadful.  A number of businesses have been floored, residential properties gutted or partially destroyed by storm surge and Belizeans picking up the pieces of their investments.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Sir Barry Bowen’s Municipal Airstrip isn’t without damage.  Buildings that were erected to accommodate passengers and employees of both domestic airlines have suffered varying degrees of destruction.  So has Admiral’s, a popular restaurant and bar that has been serving travelers from this location for several years.


Louis Cruz

Louis Cruz, Employee, Admiral’s

“As it seems, it’s the worst, but looking at it on the bright side, we’re hoping for something better to come.  We had a complete loss, we can consider it a total, but I mean we are positive on the next side, you know.”


Hurricane Lisa has laid waste to the establishment which was being expanded on the ground floor.  Everything, including the inventory that had been stowed away for safekeeping, has been destroyed.


Louis Cruz

“Apart from the structure, you also have the tools we use here, the freezers, refrigerators, stoves, everything was water damaged so we are looking at roughly that’s a lump sum of money; I would have an idea of probably, about two hundred thousand dollars.  It could be less or it could be more, but the structure itself, you know, it’s a disappointment.”


Thankfully, the building was protected against risk.  Like the proprietor of Admiral’s, many business owners and residents will be filing claims in the wake of the devastating category one storm.  Official requests for money and other benefits will be made to insurance companies such as RF&G to recover losses.


Andrew Roe

Andrew Roe, General Manager, RF&G Insurance

“The first thing is to [to] contact your insurance representative, whether that be the head office of your insurance company or the agent who you do business with. Let them know that you’ve had a claim and then give them some of the particulars of what the extent of damage might have been. It’s very important that you file the claim as soon as possible. A lot of insurance companies, or a lot of insurance policies have a reporting period. Most of them are quite long, you know, thirty days or so, but you don’t want to get caught out on that technicality, so report the claim as soon as you can to your insurance company.”


That is for persons whose properties and assets were insured.  The sad reality is that there are a lot of houses that have been damaged, whose owners could not afford to indemnify those properties.  At the corners of Kraal Road and Reggae Street, the upper flat of a concrete and plycem residence has been destroyed.  Katherine Zuniga has been living here for over thirty years.


Katherine Zuniga

Katherine Zuniga, Hurricane Victim

“As you may know, dis da di third time, right, I get damage, but this one hit hard because everything destroyed, destroyed.  But I have life, thank God.  That’s the best thing that has happened to me.  Ah got mi family, mi neighbors, friends weh check pan mi, so ah good fi right now.”


Isani Cayetano

“What did you do to try to protect or secure your property before Lisa struck?


Katherine Zuniga

“We try protect weh we have.  We mi try save some ah di lee clothes and thing and that’s about it.”


As someone whose livelihood involves small-scale food handling, it’s very likely that Zuniga’s home was not insured.  Elsewhere in Port Loyola, Tyrel Godoy’s sanctuary, a nature reserve for wildlife, has also been severely impacted.


Tyrel Godoy

Tyrel Godoy, Hurricane Victim

“I lost a house, a brand new house and the reason why that house went down was because we never strengthened the footing and the fence was always, it was a hurried thing to put up the fence in the early days.  Now, a gwein back cement.  So even though that this breakdown and it’s really much a lot of work in cleaning, but the house is not going to be a wooden house again, it’s going to be a cement house.  Ah wahn tek mi time and build again and the wooden house, ah wahn put wahn stage fi live music.  So the one that is there, I am going to turn it into a stage for live music.  I had a little house way to the back, the roof came off for that and then I have a house just behind my house and that one is okay.  Surprisingly, that one neva gaan down.  But mother nature have ih way how ih show we what we need to do.”


It’s the same resilience and optimism shared by many, including restaurant manager Louis Cruz.


Louis Cruz

“We gotta look at it on the positive side so we have this energy, we the staff, the management and also the owner.  We have this energy that when we come back we will be stronger and hopefully for a better Admiral’s.”


Isani Cayetano 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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