Saturday, June 15, 2024

Remnants of Hurricane Julia cause severe flooding in Belize


Category 1 Hurricane Julia landed in Nicaragua on Sunday, October 9th, bringing destructive torrential rains. The deluge affected nearby countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize. In Belize, the areas most affected included the mainland, with flooding in the south and central region of the country.


On Ambergris Caye, subdivisions like DFC, San Juan, and San Mateo experienced flooding, but evacuations were unnecessary. However, the storm caused strong surges, battering the island’s windward coast and threatening boat fleets anchored along the shore.

As Julia dumped heavy rainfall, it also caused flooding on the island due to tidal surges. Many streets turned to small streams, and residents were forced to stay at home or traverse through the flooding with extreme care. Meanwhile, on the mainland, several areas of Belize City were dangerously flooded, and routes on highways like Philip Goldson or George Price were almost impassable.

One of the towns affected was San Ignacio in the Cayo District, where the river inundated the welcome center, and residents had to evacuate to higher grounds. In southern coastal areas of the country like Hopkins and Placencia, the flood made its way into people’s homes, and their shorelines suffered heavy, eroding surges.

On Tuesday, October 11th, classes were suspended at several schools in rural Cayo and Toledo Districts. According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, the schools served as shelters instead.

The storm has passed, and although Belize sustained material damages, no casualties were reported. In Central America, Julia is to blame for at least 28 deaths. One in Nicaragua, four in Honduras, nine in El Salvador, and 14 in Guatemala.

The latest weather forecast from the National Meteorological Service of Belize warns of flooding in low-lying areas of the country. It also provided a tropical weather outlook about a broad area of low pressure over the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. According to the report, it has a medium chance of becoming a tropical depression as it moves northwestward over the next 48 hours. This weather disturbance poses no threat to Belize.


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