Cat 4 Hurricane Beryl Devastates Caribbean, Jamaica Braces For Impact

Hurricane Beryl, now a Category 4 storm, is barreling toward Jamaica, having already caused the deaths of six people and significant destruction in the southeastern Caribbean.

The storm has prompted urgent preparations across Jamaica, where residents are securing their homes and removing potential hazards.

Currently, a hurricane warning is in place for Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. The U.S. National Hurricane Center forecasts that Beryl will remain at or near major hurricane strength as it nears Jamaica on Wednesday, the Cayman Islands on Thursday, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Friday.

Beryl reached a peak intensity of 165 mph as a Category 5 hurricane before weakening slightly. As of Wednesday morning, it was situated 185 miles east-southeast of Kingston with sustained winds of 145 mph, moving west-northwest at 20 mph.

Officials have warned of life-threatening winds and storm surge in Jamaica, with residents in flood-prone areas advised to prepare for possible evacuations. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has urged Jamaicans to take the hurricane seriously while avoiding panic.

The storm has already inflicted severe damage in Grenada, Carriacou, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Venezuela. In Grenada, three fatalities were reported, and extensive damage occurred in Carriacou and Petit Martinique, where numerous homes and businesses were flattened.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell reported widespread power outages and impassable roads, indicating that the death toll might increase. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves has committed to rebuilding efforts, noting that 90% of homes on Union Island were destroyed, with similar devastation expected on Myreau and Canouan.

As Beryl continues its path towards Jamaica, the island’s residents are urged to secure safe shelter and brace for the storm’s impacts, including significant storm surge and heavy rainfall.