Belize

Belize: Tropical Depression 16 Flooding - Situation Report No 3

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Situation

- Waters are receding slowly in all areas except along the Rio Hondo. In the Crooked Tree area, the causeway is under 5 feet of water and it is expected to remain under water for around three months. The population in the Crooked tree area is the main concern in terms of relief and supplies, as these populations have no access and need immediate supplies of food and, in particular, water. While other affected areas are reachable by truck to bring water supplies, this is not the case for Crooked Tree, and there are currently discussions as to whether it will be possible to put in temporary pipes.

- The Ministry of Health has tested wells in the affected areas, and found that in addition to the contamination previously found, some water supplies have a concentration of iron due to rust. There are two accessible wells in the Doublehead Cabbage areas as well as two in Rancho Dolores, these possibilities will be explored. Water supplies are currently the main priority in terms of relief efforts.

- The Northern Highway has been very severely affected and will need extensive repairs. Some sections of the highway remain flooded.

- Belama Phases 3 and 4 as well as parts of 2 (in Belize City) remain a concern; some of these areas are low-lying and are expected to remain under water for some time.

- Tropical Storm Paloma is not expected to hit Belize. The (acting) Chief Meteorological Officer emphasizes that while it is close enough to Belize at present to justify going to a Preliminary Phase, this has not been done because the projected path of the storm is away from Belize. NEMO is watching Tropical Storm Paloma closely and will be giving updates.

National Response and UN Response:

- NEMO is scaling back operations over the weekend, although the six key committees (relief and supplies, damage assessment, transport, health, housing and shelter, and Human Resources) will continue to meet twice daily.

- An Emergency Cash Grant from OCHA for USD 38,000 has been approved for procurement of cleaning kits and mattresses to affected populations. Due to a specific request from NEMO and the Ministry of Health, it has been agreed between the UN Agencies to divert some funding from mattresses to collapsible water tanks. UNICEF is currently liaising with UNICEF regional office in Panama to ensure rapid delivery of water tanks.

For Detailed Information Please Contact:

Acting UN Designated Official (Belize): Kristine Blokhus Cellular: +501 610 0423 E-mail: Kristine.blokhus@undp.org

UNETE Chairperson (Belize) Anita Zetina Cellular: +501 6101174 E-mail: azetina@unicef.org

UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (Belize/El Salvador) Ms. Jessica Faieta Cellular: +503 78861890 E-mail: Jessica.faieta@undp.org