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Archives for : January2018

NEMO TOLEDO APPRECIATION AWARDS AND BANQUET

The NEMO Toledo District Emergency Committee held an Appreciation Awards Ceremony and Banquet Thursday evening, January 25, 2018.

Keynote Speaker at the ceremony was Minister of National Emergency Management, Hon Edmond Castro. Other speakers included: Chair of the Toledo District Emergency Committee, Punta Gorda Mayor Fern Gutierrez; Toledo Senator, Hon Macario Coy; and NEMO Southern Regional Coordinator, Keith Emmanuel. Welcoming Remarks were delivered by Director of the Toledo Emergency Operations Center, Marion Nolberto; and the Vote of Thanks was presented by NEMO Toledo District Coordinator, Kenton Parham. Master of Ceremonies was Paul Mahung.

A total of seven (7) awards for the year ending December, 2017 were presented as follows: Emergency Volunteer of the Year, Jaqueline Burns from ‘The Dump’ Community; Village Emergency Leader Award, Marlene Alvarez of Trio Village; Emergency Response Team of the Year, Department of Agriculture, received by District Agriculture Officer Justaquio Tush; Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Participatory Award, Lyle Williams of the Medical Care and Public Health Emergency Committee; Emergency Leader of the Year, Floyd Lino, former Mayor currently with the Ministry of Education and Chair of the Housing and Shelter Emergency Committee; Emergency Team Spirit Award, Miguel Guerra of the Ministry of Works and Chair of  the Mitigation, Access and Infrastructure Works Emergency Committee; and Emergency Worker of the Year, Sherlene Bonnell of the Treasury Department and the Human Resource Management Emergency Committee.

The Appreciation Awards Ceremony and Banquet was held at the new NEMO Emergency Operations Center Building located at the old Machaca Forest Station Compound, just outside Punta Gorda on the Southern Highway.

-END OF PRESS RELEASE-

FLOOD MITIGATION IN VISTA DEL MAR

Vista Del Mar, on the outskirts of Ladyville in Belize Rural Central is one of the communities that has been experiencing flooding and drainage problems over the past couple years. It is a matter that will require some studying and engineering of a long-term solution. But for now, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has teamed up with Area Representative Beverly Williams to quickly address the immediate need for the existing drains to be cleared, thereby facilitating the movement of water and mitigating the situation. Back in August of 2016, Vista Del Mar was one of the communities that experienced the most flooding caused by Hurricane Earl.

FLOOD MITIGATION IMPLICATIONS

A PROJECT WITH DISASTER/FLOOD MITIGATION IMPLICATIONS  

CONTRACT SIGNED FOR RAISING/WIDENING/UPGRADING/PAVING

OF CROOKED TREE VILLAGE ACCESS ROAD/CAUSEWAY 

At NEMO, we note and welcome the signing this past Tuesday, January 16, 2018 of the contract for the Feasibility Study and Design for the raising, widening, upgrading and paving of the Crooked Tree Access Road/Causeway (5.6 Kilometres). The agreement is between the Government of Belize and Caribbean Civil Group Limited which is executing this phase of the project. It is for around BZE$750,000 and partly funded by GOB with technical assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The study and design work commence almost immediately and will be completed in 8 months; and the road works will begin shortly after.The contract was signed by Minister of Works Hon Rene Montero and Principal Consultant for Caribbean Civil Group Limited, Ray R McKenzie. Also signing as witness was our Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management, Hon Edmond Castro, who is also Area Representative for Belize Rural North, the constituency in which Crooked Tree Village falls.

We note that the village of Crooked Tree, whose access road crosses a lagoon,presents a yearly, seasonal challenge for NEMO and other related departments and organizations, such as the Belize Coast Guard and Belize Defence Force, with access to and from that village having often been cut off with the rising of water levels.This project therefore represents for us a long- term, flood mitigation measure and we join residents and visitors of Crooked Tree in welcoming it.A group of Crooked Tree residents were in Belmopan on Tuesday to witness for themselves the signing of the contract for this feasibility and design stage of the project.

 

NEMO FLOOD MITIGATION IN WESTERN PARADISE – BELIZE RURAL CENTRAL

 

 

We are NOT in the Hurricane Season, but rains and inadequate drainage continue to present a challenge for some communities. With limited equipment and resources, NEMO continues its Flood Mitigation Program, excavating and clearing drains in such communities. We recently executed such works in Hattieville, Ladyville and Western Paradise in Belize Rural Central, through coordination with Area Representative Hon Beverly Williams and the respective village leaders. During the past year we did similar work in the districts of Corozal, Orange Walk, Cayo, Toledo and Stann Creek. NEMO intends to continue and increase its Flood Mitigation efforts during the upcoming Dry Season, in preparation for the Hurricane/Rainy Season 2018.

TEAM WORK TO ASSIST FIRE VICTIMS

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In times of disaster, it takes team effort to effectively address the needs of all those affected. So has it been with the Belize City fire Tuesday night which left 8 families (28 persons) homeless. The earliest responders were the National Fire Service; but immediately thereafter, NEMO and the Human Development Department kicked in, along with political leaders from the city and constituency, to provide immediate relief. Within 24 hours, we had secured a temporary dwelling for the families affected (mainly the MCC Dormitory) and basic supplies to help them as they start rebuilding their lives. Once they’ve made other temporary dwelling arrangements, Government will cover rental payments until they can get back on their feet.

TSUNAMI WARNING LIFTED FOR BELIZE

As the Minister of National Emergency Management has reported on National Media, as of 11:00 PM, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has lifted the Tsunami Warning for the nation of Belize.

Of critical concern now is the state of our bridges in the aftermath of the earthquake. Before vehicles, particular buses and heavy trucks, cross any of our bridges, it is important that those structures are inspected by the Ministry of Works or Transport Department to ensure that they are structurally sound and safe.

Because earthquakes are unpredictable by nature, NEMO advises the public to remain vigilant throughout the night and into the morning, and to keep monitoring the radio and other media outlets for further information.

Remember that whenever the sea is receding in the wake of an earthquake, a tsunami is possible. In such circumstances, people along the coast are advised to move away from the sea, seek higher ground, or move to the second story of a building.

In the event of an earthquake, if you are outside when it strikes, stay outside; if you are inside, go under a sturdy structure or piece of furniture, or move to a corner of the building you are occupying; stay away from glass windows, turn off butane tanks and all gas valves.

ENDS

Earthquake strikes off Coast of Honduras –Tsunami Warning for Coast of Belize

NEMO advises the Belizean public that an Earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale struck just off the Coast of Honduras near to Swan Island at 8:51 PM this evening.

Tsunami waves from the earthquake are possible. A Tsunami Watch is therefore in effect for the entire coastline of Belize from Toledo up to Corozal District, meaning that the threat to the people of the country is storm surge type waves which are likely to threaten property and life. Priority action for the citizens of Belize is for people on the coast to move up to a second story concrete building.

NEMO is in close communication with the Met Service, which is the Tsunami Focal Point for Belize. All NEMO Coordinators have been tasked to respond and notify the general public within their areas of responsibility to move away from the coastline and to observe if water along the coastline is retreating or receding back out to sea, which would be an indicator that a tsunami is likely to follow.

The expected time of a possible tsunami would be around 10:30 PM tonight according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

NEMO Coordinators are already notifying people on the Cayes to seek shelter in second story concrete buildings.

The Department of Transport is being asked to check all bridges, and to stop and control traffic in those areas. Everyone is advised to minimize movements in vehicles, especially across bridges.

ENDS