Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (2024)

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Hurricane Beryl ripped off roofs in Jamaica, jumbled fishing boats in Barbados and damaged or destroyed 95 per centof homes on a pair of islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines before rumbling toward the Cayman Islands and taking aim at Mexico's Caribbean coast after leaving at least 10dead in its wake.

Woman killed in Jamaica after tree falls on her home, officials say

The Associated Press

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While people around Jamaica make what preparations they can to brace for Hurricane Beryl, rain and winds are still strong enough to destroy buildings and topple trees.

Hurricane Beryl ripped off roofs in Jamaica, jumbled fishing boats in Barbados and damaged or destroyed 95 per centof homes on a pair of islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines before rumbling toward the Cayman Islands and taking aim at Mexico's Caribbean coast. At least 10 people have died.

"It's terrible. Everything's gone. I'm in my house and scared," said Amoy Wellington, a 51-year-old cashier who lives in Top Hill, a rural farming community in Jamaica's southern St. Elizabeth parish. "It's a disaster."

A woman died in Jamaica's Hanover parish after a tree fell on her home, Richard Thompson, acting director general at Jamaica's disaster agency, said in an interview on local news.

Nearly 1,000 Jamaicans were in shelters by Wednesday evening, Thompson added.

In an interview with CBC News Network on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said there have been "two confirmed reports of loss of life" in Jamaica.

WATCH | Jamaican PM on hurricane recovery efforts:

Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (2)

Jamaica aiming to open airports soon after hurricane, PM says

6 days ago

Duration 3:50

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness told CBC News Network that there were about 1,000 people in shelters as of Thursday morning, but he expected that number to go down by the end of the day as the danger posed by Hurricane Beryl moves toward Mexico. Holness, who is heading out to survey the damage, said he expects the Montego Bay airport to be open 'before the day is out.'

"We have not recovered one of the bodies yet. The report is that that person was swept out to sea, but we are still seeking to see if we could recover the body," he said.

Still, despite sustaining "significant damage," the country "certainly escaped the worst," he said.

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Death toll rises to at least 10

The overall death toll from Beryl climbed to at least 10, but it is widely expected to rise further as communications come back online across drenched islands damaged by flooding and deadly winds.

The storm, the earliest to develop into a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, weakened to a Category 2by Thursday afternoon but remained a major hurricane. Its eye was forecast to pass just south of the Cayman Islands overnight.

Mexico's popular Caribbean coast prepared shelters, evacuated some small outlying coastal communities and even moved sea turtle eggs off beaches threatened by storm surge, but in nightlife hot spots like Playa del Carmen and Tulum tourists still took one more night on the town.

Mexico's navy patrolled areas like Tulum telling tourists in Spanish and English to prepare for the storm's arrival.

The storm's centre was about 295 kilometres east-southeast of Tulumas ofThursday evening,according to tracking data from the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It had maximum sustained winds of 175 km/hand was moving west-northwest at about 31km/h

Beryl was forecast to make landfall in a sparsely populated area of lagoons and mangroves south of Tulum in the early hours of Friday, probably as a Category 2 storm.

Then it was expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and restrengthen over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to make a second strike on Mexico's northeast coast near the Texas border.

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The storm had already shown its destructive potential across a long swath of the southeastern Caribbean.

Beryl's eye wall brushed by Jamaica's southern coast Wednesday afternoon knocking out power and ripping roofs off homes.

Several roadways in Jamaica's interior settlements were impacted by fallen trees and utility poles, while some communities in the northern section were without electricity, according to the government's Information Service.

Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (3)

The worst perhaps came earlier in Beryl's trajectory when it smacked two small islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Michelle Forbes, the St. Vincent and Grenadines director of the National Emergency Management Organization, said that about 95 per cent of homes in Mayreau and Union Island have been damaged by Hurricane Beryl.

Three people were reported killed in Grenada and Carriacou and another in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, officials said. Three other deaths were reported in northern Venezuela, where four people were missing, officials said.

WATCH |Grenada's PM describesBeryl's impact as 'Armageddon-like':

Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (4)

'Complete devastation': That's how Grenada's PM describes one island's hurricane damage

7 days ago

Duration 1:16

Prime Minister of Grenada Dickon Mitchell spoke Tuesday after Hurricane Beryl ravaged Carriacou, saying the damage was almost 'Armageddon' on this island. The powerful storm devastated everything from mangroves and farms to homes and telecommunications infrastructure.

One fatality in Grenada occurred after a tree fell on a house, Kerryne James, the environment minister, told The Associated Press.

Additional confirmed fatalities so far include at least three in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a senior official told Reuters.

The last strong hurricane to hit the southeast Caribbean was Hurricane Ivan 20 years ago, which killed dozens of people in Grenada.

Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (5)

In Cancun Wednesday afternoon, Donna McNaughton, a 43-year-old cardiac physiologist from Scotland, was taking the approaching storm in stride.

Her flight home wasn't leaving until Monday, so she planned to follow her hotel's advice to wait it out.

"We're not too scared of [it]. It'll die down," she said. "And we're used to wind and rain in Scotland anyway."

With files from Reuters and CBC News

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Hurricane Beryl roars toward Mexico after leaving destruction in Jamaica and eastern Caribbean | CBC News (2024)
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