Belize - Mexico - Hurricane Keith OCHA Situation Report No. 7

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 06 Oct 2000
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2000/0194
OCHA Situation Report No. 7
Belize - Mexico - Hurricane "Keith"
6 October 2000

This message is not an official hurricane warning or alert for any country.

Tropical Depression "Keith"
6 October 2000 - 0900 hrs GMT
  • On 6 October 2000, at 0900 GMT, "Keith" was downgraded to a tropical depression and is weakening rapidly. The tropical storm warning for the Mexican coast was discontinued at 0500GMT, 6 October 2000.
  • The center of tropical depression "Keith" was located near latitude 23.5 north, longitude 100.5 west, or about 90 miles/180 km west of Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds were near 35-mph/55km/hr with higher gusts. "Keith" is forecast to dissipate today over the mountains of northeastern Mexico.

Source: The National Weather Centre in Miami. For further information and updates on Hurricane"Keith", please refer to the National Hurricane Centre (USA) at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Impact of Hurricane "Keith"

Mexico

1. The UN Resident Coordinator's Office in Mexico City reports that torrential rains have been registered in the municipalities of Altamira, Madero and Tampico situated on the border between the states of Tamaulipas and Veracruz. Some 46,000 people have been evacuated and placed in temporary shelters. Schools and Universities have been closed. Seaports have also been closed to all traffic. The National Civil Protection and the Army are on alert and are assisting with evacuation/relief operations.

Belize

Situation

2. According to the UNDP sub-office in Belize, reports from the Belize Meteorological Department and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) indicate that the flood-situation in the Belize (rural areas), Orange Walk, and Corozal Districts is worsening as the floodwaters move down stream to the coast into lower and more vulnerable and populated areas. The findings of a joint UN agencies/Government assessment mission have just confirmed the flood-situation in these areas, which are now the central focus of emergency relief efforts.

3. The Belize River, which flows southeast from the Belize City airport, is continuing to rise due to heavy rains inland (USAID report). Although the area near the river is sparsely populated, there are people living in the low-lying alluvial plain who may be in danger of floods.

4. Although many people have returned home, some 1,200 are still in shelters. Approximately 570 people have been injured (according to estimates by the Health Department and the Pan-American-Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)).

5. Latest damage reports indicate:

  • Infrastructure - The two major highways, the northern and western highways, continue to have sections under water and have restricted traffic. More major roads are flooded, especially in the Belize (rural area), Orange Walk and Corozal districts where many villages have been completely cut off.
  • Utilities - Progress continues to be made in returning electric power and other utilities in the Belize district. Electricity has returned to a small part of San Pedro but Caye Caulker remains without basic utilities including water. Electric generators are in high demand on these two most affected islands, and this requirement is in the process of being met.
Emergency requirements

6. Food need assessments are underway by various agencies including NEMO, the Red Cross, and the World Food Program (WFP). Early indications are that areas most in need of basic food supplies are in the Belize (rural areas) and Orange Walk districts. A consensus seems to be developing that internal food supplies are adequate for the short-term. Due the persisting flood situation and the damage caused to food crops, long-term assistance will be needed thereafter.

7. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched a preliminary appeal seeking CHF 2,022,472 (approximately USD 1.170 million) in cash, kind and services to assist 9,5000 beneficiaries for four months.

International assistance

8. The UN Emergency Disaster Management Team continues to coordinate the UN response from the UN House in the capital Belmopan. UN agencies (including WFP) representatives met with Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Human Development and the Chief Agricultural Officer to discuss food and other humanitarian needs.

9. The UN Emergency Disaster Management Team will contact the FAO representative based in Jamaica regarding agricultural recovery. UNDP has been in touch with local NGOs for possible support for immediate relief efforts in local communities.

10. Two Supplies Management (SUMA) trainers have arrived in Belize and are setting up a management system for international assistance. This system has been approved by NEMO for managing all supplies received by Belize.

11. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has deployed a team to assess the situation in Belize and the IDB President has addressed an invitation to the Minister of Budget Planning to discuss aid programming.

12. Two British ships with relief personnel and supplies including a water production/purification plant have arrived in Belize.

Contributions reported to OCHA

13. A list of cash and in kind contributions reported to OCHA, as of 6 October 2000, is attached to the present situation report.

14. OCHA is prepared to serve as channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Belize - Hurricane "Keith". OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

15. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, as indicated below, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item.

16. Any future updates on contributions to this disaster may be found by clicking on Financial Tracking at the top of the page for this disaster on the OCHA Internet Website (http://www.reliefweb.int). Donors are requested to verify this table and inform OCHA Geneva of corrections/additions/values. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardized Contributions Recording Format, available electronically in the above mentioned Financial Tracking Website.

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

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Mr. E. Haegglund / Mr. C. Monteiro-Pereira / Ms. M. Kondo
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 32 99 / 13 83 / 19 97

Press contact: (in GVA) Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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