Belize - Floods (MDRBZ004): DREF Operation Report

News and Press Release
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On Sunday, 18 October 2015 at 6:00 a.m., NEMO reported that an area of low pressure moved away from Belize, causing heavy rainfall across the country and affecting Belize City in particular, where residents were affected by localized flooding; the heavy rains began on 15 October.
This system continued to produce heavy rainfall across coastal, northern and western Belize throughout the night and into Monday, 19 October, causing severe flooding in Belize City and other parts of the country. CEMO evacuated people living in low lying and extremely vulnerable areas to four different evacuation centres in the city and a few more in the northern district of Corozal. Residents living along rivers, creeks, other types of waterways and low-lying areas whose homes were likely to flood were cautioned to move to higher grounds with their family members or to evacuation centres. Farmers started to make the necessary preparations for their livestock and crops.

The Belize River levels have increased, cresting up to 2 feet above the road level, which has made many of the roads impassable. In other areas in the south, roads were washed out. It is feared that the water heading downstream from Guatemala will cause the Macal and Mopan Rivers to also rise in the west.

Additionally, another weak area of low pressure located in the Gulf of Honduras produced showers and thunderstorm activity across portions of Belize. The disturbance moved slowly westward across the southern Yucatan Peninsula and into the extreme south-western Gulf of Mexico. This system further produced heavy rainfall across portions of Belize, northern Guatemala, and the Yucatan Peninsula. Between the two systems, Belize received a total of 28 inches of rain over a period of 5 days. Official assessments are ongoing, as it was impossible to go into some communities in Belize City in the first few days due to fallen electrical lines lying in flooded yards. However, it is estimated, that several hundreds of families were affected.

Some houses lost roofs and were severely damaged by water, and families lost their household items.