Hurricane 'Iris' hit the southern part
of the country in early October, with sustained winds of up to 145mph that
destroyed agricultural crops, fishing equipment and tourism and housing
infrastructure. Up to 90 percent of the banana crop of southern Belize
was flattened by the category 4 hurricane winds, which also destroyed maize,
paddy, citrus and cacao crops. The Government has appealed for international
assistance, and the international community is providing emergency relief
to the affected population.