July 14, 2024

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In the video | Ahead of the Cayman Islands, Hurricane Beryl is set to hit Jamaica

In the video |  Ahead of the Cayman Islands, Hurricane Beryl is set to hit Jamaica

Hurricane Beryl, particularly early in the season, is poised to hit Jamaica and then the Cayman Islands on Wednesday after killing at least seven people and causing significant damage in the southeastern Caribbean.

• Read more: Hurricane Beryl: Concerned Quebec travelers in Jamaica to be turned away

• Read more: Cyclone Beryl heads for Jamaica, killing at least four people in the West Indies

According to the US Hurricane Center (NHC), Beryl is currently a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 230 km/h. It is expected to pass “near or over Jamaica in the coming hours,” the agency said.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness called on “all Jamaicans to follow evacuation orders” in a video posted on social media. He “pleaded” all residents of the flooded area to “shelter or take shelter”.

Beryl could hit Jamaica on the 3rd or 4th, with “substantial wind damage, particularly to homes, roofs, trees and power lines,” NHC director Michael Brennan said Tuesday, adding that the hurricane was “very dangerous.”

Mudslides and flash flooding associated with heavy rains are also expected, including in southern Haiti.

Beryl is expected to graze or fly over the Cayman Islands late Wednesday or early Thursday, according to the NHC.


The hurricane should then move toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula where it will weaken Thursday evening.

Beryl, the season’s first hurricane in the Atlantic, quickly intensified over the weekend and caught experts by surprise. It was tentatively classified as a Category 5, the highest, the previous Category 5 hurricane ever recorded by the U.S. Weather Service.

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According to scientists, climate change, particularly by warming the ocean waters that fuel these storms, increases their rapid intensity and the risk of more powerful hurricanes.

An extraordinary season

“It is clear that the climate crisis is pushing disasters to new record levels of destruction,” noted UN climate chief Simon Steele. One of the two victims recorded on the island of Cariago in Grenada, which was hit by the eye of the typhoon on Monday, was part of his family.

“The climate crisis is going from bad to worse and faster than expected,” he added in a statement to AFP, which “requires more ambitious climate action from governments and businesses” in response.


Three hurricane-related deaths have been recorded in Venezuela. At least three people were killed in Grenada and one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Dicken Mitchell, Grenada’s prime minister, noted that the island of Cariago was cut off from the world as infrastructure and homes were demolished.

AFP photographers reported massive waves crashing on the shores of the capital, Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic.


Homes and businesses were flooded in Barbados and fishing boats were damaged in Bridgetown.

On the French island of Martinique, streets were flooded and about 10,000 customers lost power, according to supplier EDF.

Hurricanes this powerful are rare early in the season, which runs from early June to late November.

The National Weather Service (NOAA) warned in late May that the season was expected to be unusual, with four to seven Category 3 or higher hurricanes possible.

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These forecasts are significantly linked to the expected development of the La Niña weather event and extremely high temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, according to NOAA.

Temperatures in the North Atlantic have been warmer than historical records for more than a year.