Belize - Floods (MDRBZ004): DREF Operation Update

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster On Sunday 18 October 2015, an area of low pressure moved away from Belize, causing the onset of heavy rainfall that had begun on 15 October and continued across the country, Belize City in particular, where residents were affected by localized flooding. 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 the entire Belize City and other various parts of the country. CEMO commenced evacuation of people living in low lying and extremely vulnerable areas to four different collective centres in the city and a few more in the northern district of Corozal while residents along rivers, creeks, water ways and low-lying areas whose homes are likely to flood, were cautioned to move to high ground with family or to community collective centres. Farmers started to make the necessary preparations for their livestock and crops.

During this time, compounded by heavy rains in both Guatemala and Mexico, Belize received a total of 71 cm of rain over the period of five days. Official government assessments were never disclosed or shared with the Belize Red cross, however, in some communities in Belize City access was impossible due to fallen live electrical lines lying in flooded yards. It is estimated, however, that several hundreds of families were badly affected.

After a day and a half of assisting CEMO with their response and not being able to receive any information on assessments being carried out, Belize Red Cross determined it necessary to branch off to carrying out their own assessments in affected areas in Belize City. According the plan of action, the aim was to assist 300 families (approximately 1,500 people), 100 families in Corozal and 200 in Belize City. The distribution of relief items would be Emergency Plan of Action Operations Update Belize: Floods in the form of blankets, tarpaulins, hygiene kits, buckets, drinking water, cleaning kits, jerry cans and clothing from 18 October to 18 December 2015.