Cyclone Beryl: Powerful storm hits Jamaica

image source, Good pictures

image caption, Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, has been affected by the storm

A powerful hurricane hit Jamaica with strong winds and rain, uprooting buildings and damaging trees on the Caribbean island.

Beryl – a category four storm with winds of 130mph (215km/h) – hit the island’s south coast.

Photos on social media showed flooded streets and roofs being washed away.

So far 7 people have died due to the storm that hit the Caribbean islands.

  • author, Vanessa Bushschlatter
  • stock, BBC News

“It’s terrible. Everything is gone. I’m in my house, I’m scared,” said Amoy Wellington, a resident of the rural farming community in South St. Elizabeth Parish, as quoted by Reuters news agency. “It’s a disaster.”

A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica, where authorities have imposed a curfew from 06:00 to 18:00 local time (11:00-23:00 GMT).

Prime Minister Andrew Holness had earlier urged people to “take this cyclone seriously”.

“If you live in a low-lying area, an area historically prone to flooding and landslides, or if you live along a river or in valleys, I urge you to evacuate to a shelter or safer ground,” he said. .

video title, WATCH: Union Island resident explains Hurricane Beryl’s impact

Three people died in Grenada, where it first made landfall on Monday, one in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and three in northern Venezuela after strong winds and flooding.

About 90% of homes on Union Island, part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, were destroyed or severely damaged.

Parts of Jamaica experienced power and power supply disruptions, with the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) saying it was forced to suspend restoration of power lines in some locations for the safety of its workers.

At a news conference, Dr Michael Brennan, director of the NHC, said Jamaica would experience “catastrophic hurricane-force winds”.

Rainfall of up to 12in (30cm) in some parts of the country could lead to flooding and mudslides, the director explained, while life-threatening storm surges are expected to rise up to 9ft (2.7m) above sea level.

“Everyone in Jamaica should stay in their safe place and be prepared to stay there for at least the next 12 hours,” Dr Brennan warned.

image caption, People have stockpiled items in anticipation of the impact of the cyclone

The BBC’s Nick Davies said Jamaicans rushed to supermarkets earlier in the week to get it “as quickly as they could”.

Jamaica’s Information Minister Dana Morris Dixon said the island has 900 shelters.

image source, Good pictures

image caption, Flooding in Cumanacoa, Sucre state, Venezuela

In Venezuela, Hurricane Beryl brought heavy rains that caused a river to overflow in the northern state of Sucre. Three people died and many others are still missing.

Government officials were killed by a falling tree while surveying the damage.

President Nicol├ís Maduro said Vice President Delsey Rodriguez was among the injured. He said she was “very bruised but conscious”.

In Mexico, where Hurricane Beryl is expected in the coming days, residents of Cancun rushed to supermarkets to stock up on supplies. Some faced empty shelves.

The NHC said Hurricane Beryl formed much earlier in the hurricane season than usual.

Meteorologists also noted how quickly the beryl grew.

The storm strengthened from a tropical depression to a major hurricane within 42 hours, hurricane expert Sam Lillo told The Associated Press.

Hurricane Beryl’s predicted path

In Texas, officials warned residents to prepare for the possibility of Beryl this weekend.

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott told residents near the state’s Atlantic coast to “keep an eye on the bay” and “have an emergency plan to take care of yourself and your loved ones.”

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that the North Atlantic could receive seven major hurricanes this year – an average of three per season.

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