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Hurricane Rina gave Belize quite a scare, especially to residents in the northern cayes and communities in the northern part of the country which included Corozal and Orange Walk. But as of 4p.m. today, October 26, 2011, The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) gave the ALL CLEAR for Belize.

It is with a sigh of relief that residents started getting back to life as normal after Hurricane Rina lost its strength and started its movement of west northwest at midday today. This was a clear indication that the storm track predictions were correct and that Belize would be spared from the hurricane.

NEMO stated that classes which were suspended will resume on Thursday, October 27, 2011, except for San Pedro and Caye Caulker as evacuees (teachers and students) are yet to arrive tomorrow. Some island schools in San Pedro have indicated that they will have classes tomorrow so it is advisable for parents to check with their individual schools. Evacuees will start leaving Belmopan at 7a.m. as NEMO begins to return residents back to San Pedro and Caye Caulker.

The majority of Ambergris Caye residents decided not to evacuate with only 3,000 taking NEMO’s free evacuation services; many did not even boarded up their homes. Regular working hours are expected to resume tomorrow Thursday, October 27. Get this! The San Pedro Police Department was able to apprehend 15 wanted criminals as they tried to evacuate the island. All they got was a one way trip to jail. Great job of the SPPD.

At 7p.m. today, the center of Hurricane Rina was located near 18.3 N, Latitude and 86.2 W, Longitude or about 150 miles east of Cozumel, Mexico. Hurricane Rina is heading north west at 6 mph with maximum sustained winds have decreased to 85 mph. A hurricane warning is in effect for the northeast coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from north of Punta Gruesa to San Felipe and a tropical storm warning is in effect for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Punta Gruesa; the north coast of the Yucatan Peninsula west of San Felipe to Progreso.

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Dorian Nuñez

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