Sunday, August 19, 2001
The Operational Committee of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) met this morning in Cabinet Room in Belmopan.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Robert Leslie, Cabinet Secretary. 
(Mr. Leslie is also Secretary to NEMO.)

The purpose of the meeting was to assess the state of preparedness in the event that Tropical Storm Chantal intensifies into a hurricane and presents a threat to Belize.

The meeting included all Chief Executive Officers (CEO.)

The next meeting of the NEMO Operational Committee is scheduled for 4 PM local time.
Sunday, August 19, 2001
Belize Placed Under Red One

The National Emergency Management Organization has declared the Second Phase in the Hurricane plan as of 8 PM on Sunday, August 19, 2001.

The second phase, also known as Red One (Watch) is declared when a Hurricane or Tropical Storm moves into the area south of 20 degrees North Latitude and west of 84 degrees West longitude and may threaten the country within thirty-six hours.

NEMO has also issued a Tropical Storm Warning for all of coastal Belize.

At 9:00 PM, the center of Tropical Storm Chantal was located near latitude 17.1 North, Longitude 83.5 West or approximately 300 miles east of Belize City.

The storm was traveling toward the west northwest at a speed near 18 miles per hour, and this motion is expected to continue for the next fourteen hours.  Maximum sustained winds are near 65 miles per hour, with higher gusts.  Little change in strengt is forecast during the next fourteen hours.

The Operational Committees of the National Emergency Management Organization have been meeting throughout the day today to assess the state of preparedness and to mobilize the relevant resources and personnel to implement Belize's disaster management plan.

NEMO is monitoring the situation closely and will open hurricane shelters if and when necessary.  An announcement to this effect will be made at the appropriate time.

Although Chantal remains a Tropical Storm and as not yet developed into a Hurricane, residents along the coast of Belize, particularly in the northern part of the country are urged to take the necessary precautions against wind and rain associated with this system, and to pay keen attention to the advisories issued by the Belize Weather Bureau.
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