This report has been produced by the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office for Belize and United Nations Emergency Technical Team (UNETT), with the support of OCHA and humanitarian partners. The information in this report is based on official preliminary reports from the Government of Belize (NEMO) and Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). If required, an update will be produced within the next 24 to 48 hours, depending on the evolution of the situation on the ground and the information available from impacted areas.
Hurricane Iota has been responsible for an average 10-inches across the central and southern areas of Belize resulting in the recording of significant flood events across the country. This follows the flooding throughout Belize due to impact of Hurricane Eta approximately two weeks earlier.
As of 20 November 2020, NEMO reported that 235 persons were currently in shelters throughout the country especially in the Belize Rural, Cayo, and Orange Walk districts. Operations were focused on relief to the affected population and cattle farmers.
On 21 November, NEMO advised major flooding was affecting the entire country. Areas of significant flooding were in Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize districts which was compounded by the fact the rivers were already at flood state due to Hurricane Eta and the water level was rising quickly.
On 22 November, significant areas of the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize districts experienced severe flooding. Residents living along or near to these rivers are called upon to take the NEMO advisories seriously, specifically around moving to safer/higher ground and mitigating water contamination.
The newly elected Prime Minister, Honourable John Briceno, visited flood affected districts on 20 November 2020.
As 22 November, 2020 there were no reported fatalities.
Flood warning remained in effect for significant areas of the Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo and Belize districts.
Shelters: 288 persons were in 14 shelters in 3 districts. 57 people in two shelters in Orange walk, 42 persons in five shelters in Belize Rural, 88 persons in four shelters in Cayo district specifically in Calla Creek, 15 persons in one shelter in San Ignacio and 86 persons in two shelters in the village of More Tomorrow.
Roads and Bridges affected: In the COROZAL DISTRICT, Caledonia, Sarteneja, Copper Bank, and Progresso roads are impassable and the Consejo road is inundated. In RURAL BELIZE DISTRICT the Boom/Hattieville Road and Bomba causeway are impassable for small vehicular traffic, the Crooked Tree causeway and the Boom Road in front of the Police Station are impassable. Santa Martha and Flowers Bank roads are only accessible to high vehicle. In CAYO the Low-Lying Wooden Bridge and the Iguana Creek Bridge are under water and in More Tomorrow Village, both roads were impassable. In STANN CREEK the Coastal Road is trafficable from Hope Creek to Gales Point. Drivers need to drive with extreme caution as culverts are being replaced due to ongoing construction of the highway. Numerous small wooden, concrete and hammock bridges are either destroyed or significantly damaged in the affected districts.