NEMO has issued a Tropical Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch for the entire country. At 6:00p.m Tropical Storm Earl was centered near Latitude 16.4°N, Longitude 82.3°W or 398 miles east of Belize City. Earl is moving westward near 16 mph. On this track, the center of Earl will make landfall on Belize Wednesday night or early Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast and Earl could be near hurricane strength as it approaches Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Earl will produce rainfall accumulation of 8-12 inches over Belize. These rains could cause flash floods and mud slides especially over higher terrain. For coastal areas, there is also a risk for flooding, especially in low lying areas such as Belize City. All marine interests, especially small crafts, should exercise caution this evening and tonight, and seek safe harbour tomorrow morning as large swells will be affecting our coastal waters. In case of urgent /emergency last minute runs in the morning large Seagoing carriers are to exercise best judgement based on the sea state conditions. You are asked to keep NEMO informed. The NEMO Operations Officer number is 661-1190.
Actions being taken by NEMO.
- People who have livestock in low lying areas that are flood prone should move them to higher grounds.
- Farmers in flood prone areas who have crops out in the fields that are close to harvesting should take action.
- Price gouging will not be tolerated.
- Labour matters: All employers are hereby advised that they are to comply with the directive (s) from NEMO regarding employees safety. In the circumstance an employee has the right to seek safety. Any employer who prevents and employee from leaving, commits an offense under the provisions of the Labour Amendment Act #3 of 2011.
- Belize City Swing: Bridge will be open at 5:30a.m. tomorrow morning.
- Belize Airport Authority will be closed at midday tomorrow.
- The last bus runs will leave from the north, west and south at midday and from Belize City to north, west and south at 4p.m. Urgent /emergency last minute runs must be cleared with NEMO operations officer.
- Municipal flights will be suspended at midday tomorrow.
- Port Closures: Fort St Tourism Village is closed; molasses and sugar vessels closed down and moved to safe waters; Port of Belize closed at 5:00 p.m. today; Port of Big Creek closed at 3:00 p.m. today, after the last vessel left for safe waters; Puma energy will be closed tomorrow at 12:00 midday. We have instructed that the port at San Pedro and PG be closed to cross border traffic after the last vessel today
Actions to be carried out by the public.
- Listen to the advisories. Stay alert.
- Parents are hereby urged to keep their children and family members who are on vacation safe.
- If you live in a flood prone area and along the coast and your home is not safe you are strongly advised to move early to a shelter in your area.
- If you are going to shelter, know which shelter you will go to and how you will get there. Take along your food, water, medications, and personal hygiene items so you can survive and weather the storm for a few days.
- Residents and local authorities are encouraged to quickly organize and clear drains that can reduce flooding in their area. Make sure your emergency plan is in place. Stock up on food, water, medication and shutter your home.
NEMO urges all to take actions in accordance with their plans. Do not listen to rumours! Listen to your local radio and television for further advisories from NEMO and the National Met Service.