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Travel news: Belize confirms it is ready for tourists after Hurricane Richard

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BELIZE CITY, Belize – As of 10:00 a.m.

BELIZE CITY, Belize – As of 10:00 a.m. MST on Monday, October 25, 2010, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is reporting all key tourism destinations are in good shape following the passing of Hurricane Richard. The eye of Hurricane Richard reportedly made landfall around 7:45 pm MST on Sunday along the coast of Belize, roughly 20 miles south-southwest of Belize City. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, maximum sustained winds at landfall were estimated at 90 mph.

As of this morning, the Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) gave clearance for all in-country transportation services to resume operation, and the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in Belize City has reopened, allowing all airline carriers to resume flights in to Belize. While NEMO posted its last official report online at 7:20 p.m. MST on Sunday, the BTB has learned major tourist destinations including San Pedro and Caye Caulker have electricity and running water, and are in good condition. Destinations like Placencia, Punta Gorda and Hopkins are reportedly in good shape, however, electricity has not yet been restored.

While damage assessments are still underway, early reports indicate the areas primarily affected by Hurricane Richard are in and around Belize City. Richard’s overall impact in Belize City includes flooding, power outages and downed trees. Any additional information regarding Hurricane Richard can be found through NEMO’s website, www.nemo.org.bz or by calling the emergency line at (501) 822-0153.

Those attempting to reach family members or loved ones vacationing in Belize may experience some communication delays with e-mail and phone. However, the public is encouraged to visit the BTB’s emergency online site, www.belizeemergency.net, for the latest updates and information regarding any and all restoration efforts.