Hurricane Earl Results in Extensive Damage to 50,000 Acres in Rio Bravo Forest
On August 8, 2016, Hurricane Earl, a Category 1 hurricane, made landfall just below Belize City and moved across Belize in a westerly direction.
The eye passed just a few hundred meters south of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area’s southern boundary.
Hurricane force winds extended several miles north of the eye affecting the Hill Bank Area and at least 50,000 acres of the reserve’s forest. There was minor damage to La Milpa, but the damage to the forest is extensive. We estimate that at least 50,000 acres of our forest were affected with 50 % to 80% tree damage. It is critical to invest a lot of money on fire prevention this coming year in order to prevent further damage as experienced a few years ago post-Hurricane Richard.
There were also many trees downed (and blocking) the three major access roads to Hill Bank and La Milpa. At the Programme for Belize office in Belize City, the water and mud extended over 16 inches above the floor; covering all the outlets and damaging some electric equipment, electric accessories, air condition units, and educational print material and supplies. Staff homes were also damaged.