Hurricane Beryl Moves Toward Mexico


Hurricane Beryl was hurtling toward the Cayman Islands early Thursday after lashing Jamaica, charting a course of destruction through the Caribbean while putting countries in its path on edge.

The storm has flattened islands, inundated communities and killed at least eight people. It lost some of its force at a Category 3 strength, with wind speeds of 120 miles per hour, but was still taking with it dangerous winds, storm surges and heavy rainfall.

  • Beryl devastated islands in Grenada after making landfall earlier on Monday as a Category 4 hurricane.

  • In Jamaica on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of households lost power, and several communities were flooded. Officials said that the full extent of the damage was not yet clear.

  • A hurricane warning was in effect for the Cayman Islands on Thursday, and forecasters expected strong winds, dangerous storm surge, damaging waves and flooding.

  • In Mexico, officials warned that the country could be hit twice in the coming days. Forecasters said the storm could weaken but is likely to remain a hurricane until it makes landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula.

  • The weekend forecast remained uncertain as of Thursday morning. The Weather Service said it could cause rip currents and life-threatening conditions along Gulf Coast beaches beginning late Friday.

Beryl made landfall on Monday in Grenada, where officials said about 98 percent of the buildings on Carriacou and Petite Martinique, where 9,000 to 10,000 people live in total, had been damaged or destroyed, including Carriacou’s main health facility. Crops were ravaged, and fallen trees and utility poles littered the streets.

“We have to rebuild from the ground up,” said Dickon Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada.

It then churned along toward Jamaica, where on Wednesday heavy rain and destructive winds left their mark as well. Beryl was the strongest storm to approach the island in over a decade.

The storm ripped away a section of the jet bridge roof of Jamaica’s main airport. Jamaica’s transport minister, Daryl Vaz, said a plan was being prepared to figure out how the airport would operate while the roof for boarding and arrivals was being repaired.

As the storm approached the Caymans on Thursday morning, most businesses had started closing their doors as residents lined up for last-minute purchases, enduring painfully slow commutes through dense traffic.

Forecasters have warned that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season could be much more active than usual.

In late May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted 17 to 25 named storms this year, an “above-normal” number and a prediction in line with more than a dozen forecasts earlier in the year from experts at universities, private companies and government agencies. Hurricane seasons produce 14 named storms, on average.

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