Belize: Tropical Storm Arthur - Information Bulletin n° 1

GLIDE No. TC-2008-000078-BLZ

This bulletin is being published for information only.

Torrential rainfall produced by tropical storm Arthur has affected all districts of Belize. Approximately 10,000 people are affected and seven people are reported dead. The Belize Red Cross Society (BRCS) is assessing the damages and needs at this time.

The BRCS and the International Federation have determined that after further evaluations are made, a DREF fund will most likely be allocated in order to support the National Society.

The Situation

Heavy rain across Belize caused rivers in southern and northern Belize to overflow. Tropical Storm Arthur formed on Saturday 31 May 2008 and made landfall in northern Belize on the Yucatan Peninsula before becoming the first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The rains from Tropical Storm Arthur compounded the effects of Tropical Storm Alma which had developed in the Eastern Pacific on 27 May. Together, Alma and Arthur brought approximately 10 inches of rain across Belize within 36 hours, causing flash floods in low lying areas. This affected the infrastructure of the country: at least one bridge and part of a highway were damaged. Several other major bridges are reported to be under water including one between Belize City and Belmopan. There is flooding reported in northern Belize but also in other areas. One village has already been evacuated and shelters have been opened in both Corozal and Orange Walk. The electrical supply is being turned off in rural areas for safety reasons due to flooding and submersion of the electricity meters. Belize River Valley communities are being flooded and face possible isolation as roads become impassable. The Belize Hydrological Department warns that forecasts are indicating continued rain and severe weather for the next 24-48 hours. Approximately 10,000 people are affected and seven people are reported dead.

Map: Belize: Tropical Storm Arthur - Situation Map