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Hurricane Beryl Lashes The Southern Coast Of Jamaica

Hurricane Beryl Lashes The Southern Coast Of Jamaica

A powerful hurricane has struck Jamaica with strong winds and heavy rain, causing damage to buildings and toppling trees across the Caribbean island. Beryl, categorized as a storm with winds reaching up to 130mph (215km/h), made landfall on the southern coast.

Social media images depict flooded streets and roofs torn off by the storm’s force. As it moves through the region, at least seven fatalities have been reported. Residents, like Amoy Wellington from southern St Elizabeth parish, describe widespread devastation and fear.

Read more: Nearly The Entire Island Is Without Homes In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Beryl

A hurricane warning remains in effect, prompting authorities to implement a curfew from 06:00 to 18:00 local time (11:00-23:00 GMT). Prime Minister Andrew Holness has urged residents in flood-prone and high-risk areas to evacuate to shelters or safer locations, emphasizing the seriousness of the hurricane’s impact.

Three fatalities occurred in Grenada following its initial landfall on Monday, one in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and three in northern Venezuela due to strong winds and flooding. Union Island, part of St Vincent and the Grenadines, saw approximately 90% of homes destroyed or severely damaged.

Earlier, parts of Jamaica experienced power disruptions, leading the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to temporarily halt power line restoration in some areas to ensure worker safety.

During a press briefing, Dr. Michael Brennan, director of the NHC, forecasted “devastating hurricane force winds” for Jamaica. He warned of potential 12 inches (30 cm) of rainfall, posing risks of flooding and mudslides. Additionally, life-threatening storm surges up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) above tide level are anticipated.

Dr. Brennan emphasized the importance of everyone in Jamaica seeking safety and being prepared to remain in secure locations for at least the next 12 hours.

According to the Reporter Nick Davis, Jamaicans were seen flocking to supermarkets earlier in the week to stock up on essentials urgently.

Jamaica’s Information Minister Dana Morris Dixon mentioned that the island has 900 shelters available to accommodate those needing to evacuate from their homes.

In Venezuela, Hurricane Beryl’s heavy rains led to a river overflowing in Sucre’s northern state, resulting in three fatalities and several individuals reported missing. While inspecting damage, a government delegation was struck by a falling tree. President Nicolás Maduro reported that Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez was injured but conscious, describing her as “very bruised.”

Meanwhile, in Mexico, where Hurricane Beryl is anticipated in the upcoming days, residents in Cancún have hurried to supermarkets to purchase provisions, encountering shortages on some shelves.

The NHC noted that Hurricane Beryl formed unusually early in the hurricane season. Meteorologists also observed the rapid development of Beryl, with the storm intensifying from a tropical depression to a major hurricane within 42 hours, according to hurricane expert Sam Lillo speaking to the Associated Press news agency.

Projected trajectory of Hurricane Beryl

In Texas, authorities cautioned residents to ready themselves for the potential arrival of Hurricane Beryl over the weekend. Governor Greg Abbott advised those living near the state’s Atlantic coast on Tuesday to monitor the Gulf and prepare emergency plans for their families’ safety.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecasted that the North Atlantic may experience up to seven major hurricanes this year, an increase from the usual average of three per season.