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PostBELIZE after the hurricane (Ronald Hilton, USA, 10/20/01 2:11 am)
We reported that George and Corol Bevier, whom many met at the WAIS conference, had left Rum Point Inn, their home on the coast of Belize, to escape hurricane Iris. We wondered how they had fared. Jaqui White has forwarded a report from them. All WAISers wish them well. Their report gives us some idea of what a hurricane can do:
"We now have some communication at the telephone office, so I will try to bring you somewhat up to date. We kept hoping that Iris would stay up north, but the cold front pushed her south directly at Placentia. We finally left at 4:30 in the afternoon and , along with our 8 guests and 3 dogs, stayed with Ian Anderson at Caves Branch. A tree limb fell on our car, but that was all. Next day came reality. Karen took the guests up to Belize City to continue their vacation and we returned to what looks as I would imagine a war zone might. Almost all of our beautiful old mango trees were uprooted or snapped off. Many coconut trees were literally twisted off their roots. All the larger trees were severely damaged. Debris covered the area making it almost impossible to reach the main house. Miraculously it and the dining room, albeit with gaps in the roof, and not much verandah, still stood. The interiors were a muddy, holy mess. Don't even ask about anything lower than 6 feet. The new Quads fared quite well: lots of water on the floors, but basically intact. The cabana buildings, except for some roof edges, are all all right. Their interiors and doors are beyond description. Happily, most can be refinished or rebuilt. Our house lost its staircase, but seems pretty good though very dirty. The lower part is something else: all sewing machines and sewing equipment, destroyed. All our photographs and George's slides gone. So much will just have to remain in memory; we¦still have not cleaned up. AURIGA II and our other boat road it out intact. We are fortunate in having our own generator that has chosen to work for the event and the vats can hold water which is being trucked in. We were doubly fortunate that our son, Tico, was able to break away and come down to help dig out and assess damage for the insurance folks. Placentia and Seine Bight are quite a different story. It is estimated that close to 95% of Placentia is destroyed and only slightly less of Seine Bight. Many of the Maya villages of the Toledo district no longer exist. Monkey River is barely there. There are about 8000 people without homes The infrastructure is shot. It is expected that they will be able to put in new electric poles and be working in about two weeks, telephones should start soon after that. Tragedies seem to come fast upon one another. Last night our chef, Miles Patrick, died from what appears to have been a heart attack, probably brought on by super stress and incredible physical effort to help restore his house. He will be sorely missed. As they say, The South will rise again and so will we; trees will grow and much paint will be applied. Currently the plan is to re-open no later than Thanksgiving, but we hope for sooner. A lot depends upon supplies. I can check my email at the telephone office. Our Cell phones are 014-8508 and 015-1022..for emergencies".
My comment: To understand this account, look at the map of Belize, which stretches north and south. Toledo is the southernmost district, between the Caribbean and the Maya Mountains. Indeed, the area contains many ruins, to which George and Corol conducted archeological tours. Placentia and Seine Bight are in the north of the district. Monkey River is further down the coast. I wonder what happened to the monkeys? Belize City is much further north. It was once the capital, but, following a hurricane, a new capital was built inland at Belmopan.