Heavy rains and strong winds have caused flash flooding that claimed at least four lives in Belize, although officials have not confirmed the death toll. Thousands have been driven from their homes by rising waters. Roads and bridges have been severely damaged, leaving parts of the country inaccessible. The storm also wiped out papaya plantations, shrimp farms, and the rice crops, devastating the nation's economy and food supply.
ERD has been in contact with its partner, the Episcopal Diocese of Belize, to determine immediate needs in the affected areas. ERD has a long-standing relationship with the diocese, and has been working on programs to promote health and create economic opportunities over the past several years. After Belize was hit two years in a row by devastating hurricanes in 2000 and 2001, ERD partnered with the diocese to rebuild three of the hardest hit communities in the country -- Caye Caulker, Monkey River, and Placencia -- with assistance from volunteer teams from Episcopal churches around the United States.
ERD will provide support to purchase much-needed food, water and materials for housing repair.
To help people affected by Tropical Storm Arthur in Belize, please make a donation to ERD's "Emergency Relief Fund" online here, or by calling 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129. Gifts can be mailed to: Episcopal Relief and Development "Emergency Relief Fund" P.O. Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
From the Fort Mill Times:
The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to be downgraded later Sunday to a tropical depression, unless it veers north over the Bay of Campeche and regains strength.
...DISORGANIZED ARTHUR STILL PRODUCING HEAVY RAINS...
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE COAST OF BELIZE
AND FOR THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FROM CABO CATOCHE
MEXICO SOUTHWARD TO THE MEXICO/BELIZE BORDER.
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED
BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
AT 400 AM CDT...0900Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ARTHUR WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 90.1 WEST OR ABOUT 115
MILES...185 KM...SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF CAMPECHE MEXICO.
ARTHUR IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 7 MPH...11 KM/HR...AND THIS
MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. ON THIS
TRACK...THE CENTER OF ARTHUR WOULD REMAIN OVER LAND.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS...MAINLY EAST OF THE CENTER IN THE GULF OF HONDURAS. ARTHUR
IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN TO A DEPRESSION LATER TODAY.
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 230 MILES...370 KM
EAST OF THE CENTER.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.
ARTHUR IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 10
INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF BELIZE...GUATEMALA...AND SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO
WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS UP TO 15 INCHES. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE
LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...ESPECIALLY IN
REPEATING THE 400 AM CDT POSITION...18.3 N...90.1 W. MOVEMENT
TOWARD...WEST NEAR 7 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB.
AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE
CENTER AT 700 AM CDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1000