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Taiwan helps Belize mitigate hurricane damage

Taiwan’s early warning system bought Belizeans time to escape flash flooding

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Hurricane Iota battered Central America in early November. 

Hurricane Iota battered Central America in early November.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) said Thursday (Dec. 24) that Taiwan had helped Belize mitigate the damage wrought by Hurricanes Eta and Iota in November with its disaster prevention technology.

During a press conference Thursday morning, ICDF Deputy Secretary-General Chen Ai-chen (陳愛貞) said Taiwan and its Central American ally had launched the Belize Urban Resilience and Disaster Prevention (BURDP) project in 2019. She said the three-year cooperation includes integrating Taiwan’s early warning system for floods into Belize's disaster management protocols.

According to Chen, the Atlantic hurricane season has been extremely active this year, featuring a record-breaking 30 named tropical storms. In November, Hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated many parts of Belize with heavy rainfall, and many infrastructure facilities in the nation were damaged.

From Nov. 3-5, over 150 millimeters of precipitation and several flash floods were observed in the central and southern regions of Belize. However, the town of San Ignacio, which has adopted Taiwan's early warning system, only suffered mildly compared to regions without the technology.

Chen explained that the early warning system had bought San Ignacio three hours to evacuate its residents before the floods hit. She said the ICDF is considering promoting the system to other countries after it passed the stress test in Belize, reported CNA.