Monday, October 25, 2010

Hurricane Richard batters Belize

BBC: Hurricane Richard has hit the Central American nation of Belize, knocking out electricity and blowing off roofs, but no deaths or injuries were reported. Some 10,000 people took shelter in schools and churches.

But Richard was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved west-north-west towards south-eastern Mexico. It is moving at 19km/h (12mph), and is forecast to reach Mexico's oil-producing region in the Bay of Campeche late Monday or early Tuesday.

Patrick Jones of the radio station Love News FM told the BBC that there was "massive flooding" in Belize City, after the hurricane blew in just to its south. "A number of people have been calling for emergency services to come rescue them because they are either trapped by the rising water, or because their houses have collapsed," he said. Belize City, which has a population of about 100,000, contains a large number of wooden, tin-roofed homes that are vulnerable to strong winds.

Richard was rated as a category one hurricane, the lowest on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale, and was the 10th storm of the hurricane season. But as it moved into northern Guatemala on its way into south-eastern Mexico, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 105km/h (65mph)….

Hurricane Richard on October 24

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