Caribbean/Belize - Hurricane/Tropical depression Iris OCHA Situation Report No. 5

Situation Report
Originally published

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2001/0206
OCHA Situation Report No. 5
Hurricane/Tropical Depression Iris - The Caribbean
9 October 2001

1. The areas affected are coastal and inland villages in the southern districts of Stann Creek and Toledo, whose population is amongst the most poor in Belize. The capital Belmopan and Belize City have not been affected.

(This message is not an official hurricane warning or alert for any country: The National Weather Center in Miami reports that at 1500 GMT that hurricane Iris had been downgraded to a tropical depression (maximum sustained winds of near 35 mph or 55 km/hr).

2. So far, the confirmed number of fatalities is 22 people, all dead in a boat that capsized. Some 1,000 people reported homeless.

3. Very preliminary data on damage (provided in particular by the National Red Cross Society) indicate damage to housing, schools and communication infrastructure in dozens of southern towns and villages. Significant damage has been reported with regard to the important industries of banana, citrus, grain and aqua-culture (shrimp), all located in southern Belize.

4. The International Airport is operational, and the western and northern highways are opened. The transportation situation in the south is not clear.

5. The Hospital in Belize City reopened.

National Response

6. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) including the Foreign Assistance Committee met this morning and will be in session again this afternoon.

International Response

7. The United Nations Disaster Management Team are coordinating their efforts with NEMO. Preparations underway to access emergency assistance funds. PAHO/WHO health assessment team is arriving today (PAHO has moved back to Belize City).

8. At the request of NEMO, OCHA is dispatching the UNDAC Team put on standby yesterday.


9. No assessments available yet, but preliminary reports refer to needs for shelter, water, food and fuel.

10. So far, the Government has not made a request for international assistance.


UNDP Transport, support to coordination
USD 50,000
Norway Water Supply Units provided in connection with Hurricane Keith (September 2000) and now put to good use again.
UK Tents
No value indicated
US Tents
No value indicated
Inter American Development Bank (IDB) Cash contributions 50,000 BZD
approx. USD 25,400

11. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA Geneva, on relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding values by item. Donors are encouraged to notify OCHA Geneva of their contributions to this disaster using the OCHA Standardised Contributions Recording Format, available electronically on OCHA Internet Website at

12. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed. Funds should be transferred to:

Bank's Name: Chase Manhattan Bank, NY
Address: International Agencies Branch
1166, Avenue of Americas, 17th floor
New York, NY 10036-2708 USA
Account's Name: United Nations Geneva General Fund
Account's Number: 485-001802
ABA Code: 021000021 (US Banking Code)
Swift Code: CHASU33
Reference: OCHA - Belize - Hurricane Iris

13. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at


Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

Desk Officers:
OCHA Response Coordination Branch:
Mr. E. Haegglund / Ms. M. Kondo
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 32 99 / 1997

Press Contact:
Ms. E. Byrs, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 2653 (Geneva)
Ms. Phyllis Lee, Tel:+1-212- 963 4832 (New York)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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