Storm Eta: British Troops Support Relief Effort In Belize

More than 80 British Army soldiers deployed to Belize on a jungle training exercise have been helping the country following the aftermath of Storm Eta.

The storm made landfall on Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane last Tuesday, before being downgraded to a tropical depression, as the remnants of the hurricane hit Belize and other neighbouring countries in Central America.

Torrential rain from the storm has caused widespread flash flooding and landslides.

Soldiers from The Royal Dragoon Guards, Royal Lancers and 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland were deployed to assist with relief efforts at the request of the Belize government.

The troops have been assisting the Belize Defence Force with planning and medical advice, moving vulnerable people to safety, distributing food and water and laying sandbags to act as flood defences.  

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Nichols, Commander of the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB), said: "It is not wasted on me that we are guests in this beautiful country and when our hosts ask and need a little support, it is great to be able to lean in and assist. 

"Like the motto of our Belize Defence Force colleagues, we stand 'Shoulder to Shoulder' with them as we bring some relief to a beleaguered population."

The troops have been wearing masks whilst providing aid (Picture: MOD).
The troops have been wearing masks whilst providing aid (Picture: MOD).

The soldiers were relocated from BATSUB to San Ignacio in the west of the country to provide relief. 

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said he was "proud that our highly adaptable military were able to react quickly". 

The storm has since gained strength, turning into a tropical storm and causing flooding across southern Florida.

Nearly 70 people have been killed from Mexico to Panama.

Tropical Storm Eta is the 28th named storm of a busy Atlantic hurricane season - tying the 2005 record.

Cover image: Soldiers from The Royal Dragoon Guards help locals into an inflatable boat so they can cross a flooded road (Picture: MOD).