Hurricane Keith leaves parts of Belize damaged

BELIZE CITY, Belize --- Most of the damage in Belize from Hurricane Keith, downgraded now to a tropical dpression, is concentrated on the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, two prime tourist and dive areas north of the capital in the Caribbean.

More than 25% of the country's hotels are on Ambergris Caye, primarily near the main town of San Pedro.

Tourism minister Mark Espat said that the islands' residential areas took the heaviest hit. Hotels facing the offshore reef sustained wind and water damage.

Many of the hotels were closed for seasonal renovations for the winter season. Espat said that cleanup of both islands "will take several weeks. I expect that all hotels and resorts will be open for business by Thanksgiving or before."

The coastal tourist area of Placenia, south of Belize City, had no damage.

Hotels in Belize City were not damaged and flights have resumed at Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize City.

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