The National Emergency Management Organization NEMO declared a Hurricane warning Red II, for the entire Coast of Belize at midday today. An official press release issued today says:
Tropical Storm Ernesto has the potential to further strengthen to a Hurricane later today. At this time NEMO urges the public to put their Hurricane plan into action. People living along the coast and in the outer Cayes: Turneffe, Glover’s Reef, Light House, Half-moon Caye, Sand Bore Caye, Northern 2 Caye, North East, South West and Middle Caye need to heed the warnings issued by NEMO and make necessary preparations to move in land.
The Coast Guard have been warning and encouraging people to move inland from the Cayes. Those persons who are capable of leaving the Cayes on their own are advised to voluntarily evacuate. People living in areas that normally flood need to move to a dry and safe building and remember to take along their food and water to the Shelter.
NEMO has reminded all employers that they must allow their workers time off effective Tuesday morning to secure their families. On Tuesday additional public transportation will be made available by the bus operators to support the public moving inland. Government Transport will be pooled for deployment in Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City and Cayo District.
Effective Monday, the Ministry of Education has called off the workshop for principals and teachers, including orientations and registrations. Principals and teachers are asked to use the rest of today to secure their schools to ensure that equipment, materials and other resources are out of harm’s way and that the school is prepared if it is to be used as a shelter. Furthermore, after securing their schools equipment, principals of schools identified as official shelters are asked to turn over school keys to their respective emergency management organizations (DEMOs, CEMOs or VEMOs). Public Officers must be ready for Shelter duties.