Hotels and coastal communities in southern Belize have been evacuated ahead of Hurricane Richard.


Winds of up to 85 mph plus higher gusts are expected over the central American country.


People being evacuated have been sent to shelters in northern Belize. Public transport has been shut down and the country’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport was closed with all flights grounded.


The centre of Tropical Storm Richard was expected to cross Belize last night as a category 1 hurricane.


The Belize Tourism Board announced evacuation and relocation plans for all travellers visiting the country in the coming days.


“In response to the impending hurricane, all hotels in the Toledo district – located in the southern region of Belize, and coastal communities have been evacuated, and all residents and travellers have been relocated to safe grounds,” the tourism board said.  


Updated details are available via the BTB’s emergency website at www.belizeemergency.net