Trinis in Belize preparing for Beryl

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Beryl as it passed through the Caribbean on July 1. - File photo courtesy TT Met Office
Satellite imagery of Hurricane Beryl as it passed through the Caribbean on July 1. - File photo courtesy TT Met Office

A Trinidadian couple in Belize is prepared to leave their seaside home and “head for the hills” with their cat if Hurricane Beryl makes landfall later this week.

Belize’s chief meteorologist Ronald Gordon said if Hurricane Beryl, now a Category 5 storm, continues on its projected path, it was expected to make an impact with Belize during the night of July 4 heading into July 5.

He spoke at a National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) press conference on July 1.

Gordon said while there was still a high level of uncertainty, based on projections, Beryl could make landfall between southern Stann Creek (a district in the southeast region) to the Northern Yucatan Peninsula (where large parts of Belize are located), with the eyewall passing anywhere in that area.

Belize, a member of Caricom, is on the eastern coast of Central America.

Not leaving anything to chance, Trinidadians Barbara Paul-Pilgrim and her husband Nigel Pilgrim, a judge in Belize, have already started preparing for the worst but are hoping for the best – the best being a dramatic downgrade of Beryl.

She said there was a small population of other Trinidadians in Belize who are also taking precautions.

“People are anxious,” Paul-Pilgrim told Newsday in a phone interview on July 2.

She said Belizeans were starting to prepare by stocking up on groceries and other essentials. If the storm reaches Belize later this week, they expect the northern part of the country to feel the effects. However, Paul-Pilgrim said because they lived on the coast – a peninsula with the “sea on three sides” – and given Beryl’s unpredictability, they were looking to move to higher ground.

“Better be safe than sorry.

“There is a calm right now, no panicking, ” she said, but added that at already hotels and other lodging were “filling fast,” which suggested tourists and expats in areas closer to the north were looking for temporary shelter.

Paul-Pilgrim said the courthouse in Belize City – which took a beating from Hurricane Lisa in 2022 – had reopened only on July 1.

On July 2, reports said Beryl was expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm by the evening of July 4.


"Trinis in Belize preparing for Beryl"

More in this section