Breaking News

Hurricane Beryl Heads to Jamaica, Causing Floods

Hurricane Beryl heads to Jamaica, causing floods

Hurricane Beryl advanced towards Jamaica as a powerful Category 5 storm on Tuesday after striking smaller Caribbean islands, causing power outages, floods, and reportedly killing two people.

Beryl made landfall on Carriacou island, part of Grenada, on Monday, resulting in one death and an island-wide power outage. Another death was reported in St. Vincent, though Reuters could not immediately verify this.

Read more: Tropical Storm Beryl May Become Major Hurricane on Monday

Footage from Barbados showed waves crashing ashore, breaching walkways, toppling palm trees, and flooding roads in Bridgetown.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves stated that the hurricane caused significant destruction. “Union Island (part of the Grenadines archipelago) has been devastated,” he said, noting that “90% of the houses… severely damaged or destroyed”. He confirmed one death, with potential for more fatalities.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted 4 to 12 inches of rainfall in Jamaica on Wednesday, potentially causing flash floods. As of 1200 GMT, Beryl, with winds up to 165 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour), was about 625 miles (1,006 km) east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica’s capital.

Numerous vessels in the storm’s path risk being affected, with diversions noted in the Caribbean, according to energy-cargo tracking data from Vortexa.

The storm’s early timing and rapid intensification, the first in this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, is partly attributed to warmer ocean temperatures, scientists say.

Jamaica issued a hurricane warning on Monday, while tropical storm warnings were in place for parts of the southern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The “potentially catastrophic” storm hit the Caribbean region as a Category 4 storm earlier on Tuesday, expected to bring life-threatening winds and a storm surge to Jamaica. Though it intensified to Category 5, it was anticipated to weaken later on Tuesday, with Beryl’s center forecasted to “pass near Jamaica on Wednesday and the Cayman Islands on Thursday”.

Residents across the eastern Caribbean boarded up windows, stocked up on supplies, and fueled vehicles in preparation for the storm.

In Mexico, officials began preparing for Beryl’s arrival later this week, with the federal government urging authorities and citizens to exercise “extreme caution”.