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SNAPSHOTS OF HURRICANE SEASON 2010 - BELIZE Impacts and Lessons Learnt 5 th Annual Caribbean Conference on CDM P. Noreen Fairweather National Emergency.

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Presentation on theme: "SNAPSHOTS OF HURRICANE SEASON 2010 - BELIZE Impacts and Lessons Learnt 5 th Annual Caribbean Conference on CDM P. Noreen Fairweather National Emergency."— Presentation transcript:

1 SNAPSHOTS OF HURRICANE SEASON BELIZE Impacts and Lessons Learnt 5 th Annual Caribbean Conference on CDM P. Noreen Fairweather National Emergency Coordinator

2 INTRODUCTION An “active to extremely active” hurricane season was forecasted by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre. An “active to extremely active” hurricane season was forecasted by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre > 28 named storms, including Hur. Katrina > 28 named storms, including Hur. Katrina. 19 named storms ; 12 Hurricanes (1969 & 2005); 5 Major Hurricanes. Four Cat 4 within 20 days (1999) Sept 15 - two category 4 hurricanes (Igor and Julia) at the same time in the Atlantic Basin (1900 & 1926) NEMO Belize busy since mid-May NEMO Belize busy since mid-May FOUR STORMS DIRECTLY IMPACTED BELIZE FOUR STORMS DIRECTLY IMPACTED BELIZE

3 TROPICAL STORM ALEX International News International News “Tropical Storm Alex Soaks Belize” 6 -8 inches of rainfall National News National News Tropical Storm Alex – Belize’s “dry run”? Tropical Storm Alex – Belize’s “dry run”? ‘from all accounts, Belize did well in this “dry run,” especially since the watchful eyes of NEMO and the National Meteorological Service had been monitoring the area of disturbed weather off the Honduras/ Nicaragua border that eventually became Alex since last week’. ‘from all accounts, Belize did well in this “dry run,” especially since the watchful eyes of NEMO and the National Meteorological Service had been monitoring the area of disturbed weather off the Honduras/ Nicaragua border that eventually became Alex since last week’.

4 TROPICAL STORM ALEX (2) Landfall 26 June north of Belize City; Winds 55 mph; WNW at 9mph. Landfall 26 June north of Belize City; Winds 55 mph; WNW at 9mph. Flooding in major rivers (20). Flooding in major rivers (20). > 1500 people voluntarily moved off Ambergris Caye (San Pedro). > 1500 people voluntarily moved off Ambergris Caye (San Pedro). Impacted entire country. Impacted entire country. Approx. $ 8m in damages. Approx. $ 8m in damages.

5 TROPICAL STORM KARL Landfall 15 September 35 miles north of Belize ; Winds 65 mph; Landfall 15 September 35 miles north of Belize ; Winds 65 mph; A TS watch in in effect for the coast of northern Belize from Belize City to the Mexico/Belize Border. Belize Radar showed eye developing just before landfall Belize Radar showed eye developing just before landfall No evidence it reached Hurricane strength No evidence it reached Hurricane strength Flooding in northern Belize Flooding in northern Belize Trees/down, temporary loss of electricity. Trees/down, temporary loss of electricity.

6 TROPICAL STORM MATTHEW Landfall over the southern Belize September 25; weak TS with winds of approx. 40 mph. Landfall over the southern Belize September 25; weak TS with winds of approx. 40 mph. Localized flash floods produced by the intense rain fall. Localized flash floods produced by the intense rain fall. Turbulent seas and coastal erosion. Turbulent seas and coastal erosion. Preliminary damage was minimal. Preliminary damage was minimal. Quickly weakened to a TD as it moved WNW over Southern Belize and Guatemala Quickly weakened to a TD as it moved WNW over Southern Belize and Guatemala

7 P. Noreen Fairweather, NEC - BELIZE Hurricane Richard

8 Impacts of Hurricane Richard Landfall 24 October, 20 miles south Belize City; 13 mph; sustained winds 95 mph with gusts of 115mph; storm surge 5 feet. Landfall 24 October, 20 miles south Belize City; 13 mph; sustained winds 95 mph with gusts of 115mph; storm surge 5 feet. Hurricane force winds extended 20 mls from centre, TS winds extended 105 mls. Hurricane force winds extended 20 mls from centre, TS winds extended 105 mls. > 2000 people voluntarily moved off San Pedro. > 2000 people voluntarily moved off San Pedro. 4,639 persons sought public shelter; hundreds more relocated inland with family and friends. 4,639 persons sought public shelter; hundreds more relocated inland with family and friends. 53 communities impacted. 53 communities impacted.

9 Impacts of Hurricane Richard > 1,300 homes received varying levels of damage; 60% south-side Belize City. > 1,300 homes received varying levels of damage; 60% south-side Belize City. Belmopan: 15% of homes in surrounding communities suffered level 3 & 4 damages. Belmopan: 15% of homes in surrounding communities suffered level 3 & 4 damages. Trees and power lines down, roads closed Trees and power lines down, roads closed Electricity lost 24 hours Electricity lost 24 hours > 3,500 families supported with relief supplies > 3,500 families supported with relief supplies Food/water/tarps/mattresses Food/water/tarps/mattresses Two deaths attributed to Richard. Two deaths attributed to Richard. BZ $ 70 million in damages BZ $ 70 million in damages

10 P. Noreen, NEC - BELIZE

11 P. Noreen Fairweather, NEC - BELIZE

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18 Preparation Pays Off (Lessons Learnt) Disaster Management Training ( >500 persons). Disaster Management Training ( >500 persons). First Aid persons June –Nov. 2010First Aid persons June –Nov Field and Tabletop Exercises. Field and Tabletop Exercises. Shelter Inspection and Rehabilitation. Shelter Inspection and Rehabilitation. Pre-positioning of Relief Supplies and Equipment. Pre-positioning of Relief Supplies and Equipment. Continuous Disaster Plan development/improvement: Continuous Disaster Plan development/improvement: Evacuation Plan (Coast and Cayes) in addition to government assets, established relationship with private sector – fuel, boats, buses, heavy equipment etc.Evacuation Plan (Coast and Cayes) in addition to government assets, established relationship with private sector – fuel, boats, buses, heavy equipment etc. Shelter Management: Shelter Management: Pre-determined -> who will go where, when, how.Pre-determined -> who will go where, when, how. (Internal and External) (Internal and External)

19 Education/Information Pays Off (Lessons Learnt) Continuous sharing of information and warning to public before/during/after event. Continuous sharing of information and warning to public before/during/after event. Joint hurricane tips – NEMO & MET during daily weather updates. Joint hurricane tips – NEMO & MET during daily weather updates. Joint alert messages – NEMO & Media Joint alert messages – NEMO & Media Building confidence: Building confidence: Carefully crafting Alert Messages; inform on threat without seeming to “cry wolf”. Carefully crafting Alert Messages; inform on threat without seeming to “cry wolf”.

20 Monitor and track ALL SYSTEMS in both Atlantic & Pacific. Monitor and track ALL SYSTEMS in both Atlantic & Pacific.

21 Lessons Learnt (Improvement Needed) Better building practices/codes Better building practices/codes Other Mitigation efforts Other Mitigation efforts Land Utilization/Zoning/ Hazard Mapping, drainage Land Utilization/Zoning/ Hazard Mapping, drainage Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Agriculture / Livelihood Agriculture / Livelihood Crop diversity and rotation, livestock safe areas, flood resilient pasture Crop diversity and rotation, livestock safe areas, flood resilient pasture

22 Thank You.


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