Caribbean: Belize - Hurricane Iris OCHA Situation Report No. 6

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 10 Oct 2001


Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2001/0207
OCHA Situation Report No. 6
Hurricane Iris - The Caribbean
Belize
10 October 2001


Source: www.lonelyplanet.com

The Government of Belize Appeals for International Assistance


Situation

1. The Government of Belize has requested international assistance, and declared the following towns/villages as Disaster Areas, after the passage of Hurricane Iris on 8 October 2001:

Placencia (peninsula town)
Dump (Southern Highway) to Independence (across from Placencia)
Mafredi (near Punta Gorda) to San Vicente
Big Creek (south of Independence, across from Placencia)
Aguacate, Otoxha, Criquehute and San Jose (Inland, near Toledo/south Guatemalan border)

2. Preliminary reports indicate damage as follows:

Dead: 11 (Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/MFA)

Missing: 11 (MFA)

Homeless:
8,000 in the Toledo district (UN Resident Coordinator's Office/UNRC)
5,000 in the Stann Creek district (UNRC)

Houses:
80 per cent destroyed in Placencia (MFA)
90 per cent destroyed in Seine Bight (MFA)

3. Tourist destinations on coastal villages, such as Placencia, Sein Bight and Independence, have suffered considerable damage. A 'dusk to dawn' curfew was in effect starting for the night of 9 October.

Logistic Systems and Facilities

4. The Western and Northern Highways remain open, the International Airport in Belize City is operational, domestic flights have resumed, and buses have resumed their runs in all parts of the country except in parts of the south.

National Response

5. The Foreign Assistance Committee of the Governmental National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) met on 9 October. Preliminary damage assessment and lists (food, water tents, housing materials, medicines and electric generators) will be prepared.

6. The Belmopan Branch of the Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) has launched a national appeal for cash, clothing and food. Distribution centers in Punta Gorda and Toledo have been set up by the BRCS and plastic raincoats, blankets and kitchen kits are being provided to those affected.

International Response

7. The United Nations Disaster Management Team continues its coordination efforts with NEMO. In response to the request made by NEMO, OCHA has dispatched a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, consisting of four members, who are to join one national member in Belize.

8. PAHO/WHO health assessment team is in Belize, and started damage assessment with the Ministry of Health. WFP is fielding one staff from El Salvador to Belize.

9. Two disaster response/delegates from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) arrived in Belize City on 9 October, in order to coordinate the implementation of a damage and needs assessment together with the Belize Red Cross Society.

Contributions

10. The following contributions has been reported by UNDP-El Salvador:

Norway: Water supply units (pre-positioned after Hurricane Keith)
United Kingdom: Tents (No value indicated)
United States: Tents (No value indicated)
IDB: BZD 50,000 (USD 25,400)
PAHO/WHO: USD 50,000
UNDP/ERD: USD 100,000
UNICEF: USD 50,000

11. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardised Contributions Recording Format, available electronically on OCHA Internet Website at www.reliefweb.int.

12. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed. Funds should be transferred to:

Bank name: Chase Manhattan Bank, NY

Address:
International Agencies Branch
1166, Avenue of Americas, 17th floor
New York, NY 10036-2708 USA

A/C name: United Nations Geneva General Fund

A/C: 485-001802

ABA Code: 021000021 (US Banking Code)

Swift Code: CHASU33

Reference: OCHA - Belize - Hurricane Iris

13. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.

CONTACTS

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

Desk Officers:
OCHA Response Coordination Branch:
Mr. E. Haegglund / Ms. M. Kondo
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 32 99 / 1997

Press Contact:
Ms. E. Byrs, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653 (Geneva)
Ms. Phyllis Lee, Tel:+1-212- 963 4832 (New York)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.