Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica

30 minutes ago

By Vanessa BuschschlüterBBC News

grey-placeholder Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica7ab1c5d0-3981-11ef-97eb-b3cab3ad30a7.jpg Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards JamaicaReuters

Sea waves break as Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica

Jamaica is bracing for a powerful hurricane as it roars towards the Caribbean island.

Beryl – a category four storm with winds near 140mph (220km/h) – is expected to pass near or over the southern coast in the next few hours, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns.

It predicts “life-threatening winds and storm surge” in Jamaica as well as the Cayman Islands later.

At least seven people have been killed so far as the storm sweeps through the Caribbean.

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

Prime Minister Andrew Holness urged people to “take this hurricane seriously”.

“If you live in a low-lying area, an area historically prone to flooding and landslide, or if you live on the banks of a river or a gully, I implore you to evacuate to a shelter or to safer ground,” he said.

Watch: Union Island resident explains impact of Hurricane Beryl

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

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

Parts of Jamaica have experienced disruption to power and electricity supplies, with the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) saying it was forced to pause restoration of power lines in some locations for the safety of their workers.

In a news briefing, the NHC’s director, Dr Michael Brennan, said Jamaica would experience “devastating hurricane force winds”.

Rainfall in some parts of the country could hit 12in (30cm), potentially leading to flooding and mudslides, the director explained, while life-threatening storm surges as high as 9ft (2.7m) above tide level are also expected.

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

grey-placeholder Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaicab90ec940-3922-11ef-85ba-e5e081cb6e53.jpg Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards JamaicaReuters

People have been stocking up on supplies ahead of the hurricane’s impact

The BBC’s Nick Davis said Jamaicans had been rushing to supermarkets on Tuesday to get “as much as they could as quickly as they could”.

Jamaica’s Information Minister Dana Morris Dixon said the island had 900 shelters to house people who needed to leave their homes.

grey-placeholder Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica4ea8ab10-3923-11ef-b136-4110f2f4072e.jpg Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards JamaicaGetty Images

Cumanacoa in Venezuela’s Sucre state has suffered flooding

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

A government delegation was hit by a falling tree while inspecting damage.

President Nicolás Maduro said Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez was among those injured. He said she was “very bruised but conscious”.

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

grey-placeholder Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica1d0ab7a0-3960-11ef-9202-af701d1ad5cc.jpg Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards JamaicaReuters

The NHC said that Hurricane Beryl was the earliest category five storm recorded in the Atlantic and had formed much earlier in the hurricane season than usual.

Meteorologists have also remarked on how quickly Beryl developed.

The storm strengthened from a tropical depression into a major hurricane in 42 hours, hurricane expert Sam Lillo told the Associated Press news agency.

Predicted path of Hurricane Beryl

grey-placeholder Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica2badf750-3946-11ef-bbe0-29f79e992ddd.png Powerful Hurricane Beryl roars towards Jamaica

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

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

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has warned that the North Atlantic could get as many as seven major hurricanes this year – up from an average of three in a season.

You may also be interested in:

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir