Hurricane Beryl Heads to Jamaica with Devastating Category Five Winds

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Beryl, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, remains a dangerous system with maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers per hour and also threatens the south of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Cayman Islands.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica (Met Service) reported on Tuesday in its last report that in the early hours of the morning the eye of Hurricane Beryl was near 14.6 degrees north latitude and 66.9 degrees west longitude, about 1,120 km east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

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Hurricane Beryl Escalates to Category 5 in the Eastern Caribbean Sea

The government said it will organize its response to Hurricane Beryl under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which gives additional authority to coordinate and execute a number of emergency activities.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Andrew Holness emphasized the importance of taking action to face Hurricane Beryl.

The government also urged all citizens to remain vigilant, cooperate with the authorities, and be attentive and prepared at all times.

Hurricane warning in effect for Jamaica as Beryl becomes potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane. pic.twitter.com/qNsfUilm7a

— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) July 2, 2024

The Meteorological Service urged operators of small boats to take all necessary safety precautions and recommended staying in safe harbor until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions return to the normal.

“As downtown Beryl approaches the island, heavy rains are expected to begin early Wednesday,” he added.

On the other hand, at least three people died in Granada due to the passage of Hurricane Beryl, which brings to four deaths this Tuesday in the Eastern Caribbean islands.

The Prime Minister of Granada, Dickon Mitchell, said in a conference broadcast on social networks that «possibly more» people have lost their lives on this island and neighboring Carriacou.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist ✅ pic.twitter.com/Ekmxk29VfE

— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) July 2, 2024

These data are known after Saint Vincent and the Grenadines reported on Monday a death due to the hurricane, which has reached category 5.

This Tuesday, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted that since it was registered, had never formed at this time of year a hurricane of maximum intensity in the Atlantic, so the Beryl, which has reached this strength while approaching Jamaica, feels a «alarming precedent».

According to the UN meteorological agency, the arrival of a hurricane with this force two weeks earlier than usual could be the advance of «a very active season and with risks for the entire Atlantic basin, which once again shows the need for early warning systems».

The Beryl reached force 5 (maximum on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which measures hurricanes by the force of their winds) and currently drags gales of up to 165 kilometers per hour, according to measurements of the monitoring center of these phenomena in the United States, the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The Caribbean Community (Caricom) said on Tuesday that Hurricane Beryl caused «significant damage and destruction» to infrastructure and private property in several countries of the regional organization.

The greatest damage has been reported in Grenada and its sister island of Carriacou, as well as in Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where at least one person died.

Faced with this situation, Caricom will hold a virtual meeting this day to assess the damage and design a collective response to the passage of this hurricane category 5, the largest on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

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