* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As many as 400 San Pedro residents sought refuge in the town’s three shelters during the Category 1 hurricane Earl, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. told Channel 7 News Belize.
The minister, who also serves as San Pedro’s NEMO chairman, added that there were “about 6 homes that were totally destroyed and another 3 or 4 that were extensively damaged.”
Heredia told Channel 7 that the “obvious” damage was seaside where “practically 90% of the piers are either gone or extensively damaged. The dive shops, likewise, I would believe that it’s only two or three that are standing, but not in a very good shape also. Beach erosion was terrible over here.”
7News also reports that some northern resorts, including Costa Blue, X’tan Ha and Saphire Beach have closed temporarily for repairs.
Ministry of Agriculture puts Earl losses at $100 million
Earl’s toll on Belize’s economy is over $100 million, Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, told Amandala today.
“What we have right now indicates $100 million worth of damage, because when we factor in the main affected subsectors – bananas, corn, and vegetables—corn, as I had said, was in the region of $49 million worth of losses, bananas will probably be within the region of about $40 million, and the rest takes us over $100 million in damages,” Alpuche said.
Tropic Air offers 50% off domestic fares through August 14
Tropic Air has responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Earl by cutting airfares in half because ” it was important to us that we make sure people can get where they need to go quickly in order to rebuild,” said John Greif III, president of the regional airline.
The offer will last through Aug. 14 and includes flights to all Belize destinations, except Belize International Airport.
“The task of rebuilding has already started in earnest, and we are eager to support this effort,” according to a Tropic Air press statement.
“We needed to do our part,” added Greif.
The discount can be applied to travel booked online at tropicair.com using promotional code: D50AUG. Tickets can also be booked at any of Tropic Air terminal or through the reservations department at 226-2012/2626 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tropic Air travels within Belize to Belize City Municipal, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Corozal, Caye Caulker, Dangriga, Placencia, Punta Gorda and San Pedro.
At last, a view of damages from up north
San Pedro Scoop Blogger Rebecca Coutant has posted a report and pictures of Hurricane Earl’s damage, starting at X’tan Ha Resort and traveling to points south.
As we feared, the damage up north mirrors what we have experienced in San Pedro.
“X’tan Ha Resort, her dock, dive shop, bar and beach took a beating,” reports Rebecca. Additionally, where possible, she has added “before” photos of some of the damaged docks, palapas and resort properties.
As a bonus, Rebecca was able to photograph the swollen rivers on the mainland when she flew home from San Ignacio. She had been evacuated from the Chiquibil Forest Natural Reserve ahead of the hurricane, but was forced to sit out the storm in San Ignacio.
An Ambergris Caye classic lost to the storm: Turtleman’s House
Rosemary Ingram Smith reports that on North Ambergris Caye, the Turtleman’s House — an over-the-water cabin that was the subject of many paintings and photographs over the decades — was lost to Hurricane Earl.
“Having a structure over the water in a hurricane area means that you have to accept the loss when it occurs,” she notes.
For the post on the Turtleman’s House and more background, see Rosemary’s Facebook post here.
Tropic Air unveiled a new look for its planes today, with an eye toward aesthetics and economy.
“We’ve tried hard to retain the essential elements of Tropic’s almost forty years of service and refine them for the future,” said CEO Steve Schulte in a press release. “We’ve adapted the ‘tail fin’ to make it bolder and to reflect a simpler and more elegant shape.”
The look will also save time and expense when repainting the planes, according to the press release: “The painting process has been simplified, using fewer maskings and less paint for a drastic reduction in materials used. The new paint is also more durable so aircraft will require re-painting less often. The iconic, Tropic logo, that appears on all aircraft, has been rejuvenated with a subtle makeover and detailing.”
Tropic Air also announced that the $10 million maintenance and administration structure under construction in San Pedro will officially open in August.
San Pedro blogger, Taco Girl, has published the airline’s press release in full here.
Update: United Airlines is offering 30 percent off round-trip tickets between Houston and BZE. Tickets are on sale at $507, normally fares average $720. Departure dates are available from August 2014 to May 2015.
The sale began July 1 and there is no end-of-sale date announced as of yet.
Thank you John East for tipping me off to the sale.
*** *** ***
Delta is ramping up its seasonal flights to Belize from the States at a quicker pace than previously. Read the rest of this entry »
So much for that laid-back island vibe.
Rose took three yoga classes yesterday –and a hyper-energy dance class at Zen Arcade.
So, what’s a guy to do if he wants to see his wife? I took two of the yoga classes, too.
And that, my friends, constitutes a busy day here on Ambergris Caye. Well, with a bunch of other stuff thrown in between the classes. It kind of feels like this video, (which was posted by Rebecca of San Pedro Scoop) — a jittery GoPro bicycle tour up and down the same streets we cycle, filmed by Nicolai Hebert. Read the rest of this entry »