Tropical storm Nana barrelled westward Wednesday just off the coast of Honduras on a collision course with the Central American nation of Belize, where thousands of people were stocking up on food, water and construction materials.
Long lines stretched through supermarkets, and hardware store shelves were nearly bare as Belizeans bought materials to board up windows and doors ahead of Nana’s expected landfall late Wednesday night or early Thursday, possibly as a hurricane.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported Wednesday that Nana was located about 160 kilometres east-southeast of Belize City with sustained winds of 95 km/h. The storm was moving at 24 km/h and was expected to strengthen.
Belize had issued a hurricane warning for its coastline. Nana was 80 km north-northwest of the Honduran island of Roatan, a popular tourist destination.
Here are the 9/2 4 PM CDT Key Messages for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nana?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Nana</a>, expected to be near hurricane strength at landfall Thursday AM. Tropical storm conditions expected in warning areas tonight. Heavy rainfall, flash flooding possible in Belize, Guatemala, portions of SE Mexico & Yucatan Peninsula. <a href=”https://t.co/QTBoinb2Co”>pic.twitter.com/QTBoinb2Co</a>
Local leaders in rural villages in Belize’s southernmost district of Toledo were awaiting word from the National Emergency Management Organization to open hurricane shelters.
As evening approached, dark clouds hung on the horizon as uneasy residents awaited the storm’s arrival.