Hurricanes have played key and devastating roles in
In 1931 an unnamed hurricane (No. 0304) made landfall
30 miles north-weast of Belize City. 3,000 people were killed or missing in Belize City.
The images below enlarge considerably by clicking
Above: No. 0304 destroyed over two-thirds of the buildings in Belize City.
In 1955 Hurricane Janet leveled the northern towns of Corozal and Sarteneja.
Only six years later, Hurricane Hattie struck the
central coastal area of the country, with winds in excess of 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) and
4-meter (13.1 ft) storm tides.
The devastation of Belize City for the second time in
thirty years prompted the relocation of the capital some 80 kilometers (50 mi) inland to the
planned city of Belmopan. A hurricane that devastated Belize was Hurricane Greta, which caused more
than US$25 million in damages along the southern coast in 1978.
There was a period of 20 years during which some
considered that Belize was a hurricane-free region until Hurricane Mitch (October 1998) gave rise
to the hurricane awareness and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO).
In 2000 Tropical Storm Chantal and Hurricane
Keith did much to put the country on the hurricane map.
In 2001, Hurricane Iris swept through the southern
part of Belize causing damage that ranged in the hundreds of millions due largely to wiping away
the banana industry, crippling the citrus and tourism in the area.
Six years later, the fury of Category Five Dean landed
on the Yucatán coast at Mahahual but Corozal, on northern Belize, was not spared the brunt of
reportedly Category 3 to 4 winds. The latter did tens of millions in damages, especially to the
emerging papaya industry and to a lesser extent to the established sugar cane industry.
Also see - Hurricane
Patterns - long term trends in hurricane
frequency and intensity.