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03 Nov 2020 | 07:35 AM UTC

Belize: National Meteorological Service issues Flood Watch for four districts November 2

National Meteorological Service issues Flood Watch for four districts on November 2 due to approach of Hurricane Eta; flooding, landslides, and associated disruptions possible in the coming days

environment
transportation
BLZ

Event

On Monday, November 2, the National Meteorological Service of Belize issued a Flood Watch for Belize, Cayo, Stann Creek, and Toledo districts ahead of the approach of Hurricane Eta. Whilst Eta is expected to make landfall well to the south of Belize over Nicaragua on Tuesday, November 3, the remnants of the powerful category 4 hurricane will bring heavy rainfall to much of the region over the coming days. Having made landfall, Eta is forecast to turn northeast towards Belize on Wednesday, November 4, and Thursday, November 5, as a post-tropical cyclone.

Heavy rain is forecast as the storm system approaches, particularly in southern areas, with up 250 to 500 mm (15 to 25 in) expected, and isolated areas receiving as much as 635 mm (35 in). The torrential rain could lead to dangerous flooding, landslides, and associated disruptions to transport, businesses, and utilities in the coming days.

Context

The country's rainy season occurs between June and November, which is also roughly the same period of time that corresponds to the Atlantic hurricane season; organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.

Advice

Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.

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