ACT Alert Belize - Guatemala: Hurricane Iris

Report
from Action by Churches Together International
Published on 09 Oct 2001
Geneva, October 9, 2001
The National Weather Centre in Miami reported that Iris made landfall at the town of Monkey River in Belize yesterday, after threatening the Caribbean Coast of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras from the border with Guatemala eastward to Limon.

Preliminary reports indicate that nearly 1,000 people were left homeless and that extensive damage was caused to houses and schools along the southern coast of Belize. There are also reports of damage to networks of telecommunications and electricity supplies as well as to the fruit, grain and aqua-culture (shrimp) industries.

Hurricane Iris has been downgraded to a tropical depression and at last report was moving at about 42 km/h toward the west. Rainfall totals of 5 to 8 inches are likely along the path of Iris. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain.

In Guatemala CONRED -- The National Co-ordinating Office for Disaster Response -- reported that one person died, 15 were wounded and 2,000 evacuated. In the municipalities of San Luis, Popt=FAn and Sayaxché in Petén 2,500 houses have been affected.  There are also damages reported along the border with Belize, where it is estimated that 1,200 houses have been destroyed.

ACT member, LWF/DWS Petén Office, is assessing the situation in Guatemala and along the border with Belize.

Thank you for your attention.

For further information:

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated  emergency  response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF)  in Switzerland.