July 14, 2024

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Hurricane Beryl: Many Jamaicans without power after thunderstorm

Hurricane Beryl: Many Jamaicans without power after thunderstorm

Video comment, Cayman Islands, Mexico Brace for Hurricane Beryl

  • author, Nick Davis
  • Role, BBC News, Kingston

Hundreds of thousands of homes in Jamaica remain without power in the wake of Hurricane Beryl.

The Category 4 storm – one of the most powerful ever to hit the country – hit the island’s southern coast on Wednesday evening, dumping heavy rain for more than 12 hours.

Officials and residents are assessing the damage after an island-wide curfew was lifted early Thursday.

Storm Beryl, now downgraded to a Category 2 storm, is heading toward Mexico and the Cayman Islands. It has left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, killing at least 10 people.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Venezuela each reported three deaths, while one person died in Jamaica.

The storm destroyed almost all the homes on two small islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Majoro and Union.

Strong winds, storm surges and dangerous waves are expected to hit the Yucatan Peninsula by early Friday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast.

The hurricane is expected to bring 10 to 15 cm (6 inches) of rain through Friday across the peninsula, with up to 10 inches in some places.

Hurricane Beryl’s forecast path

Here in the capital, Kingston, the winds were very strong, but not the hurricane-force winds that were forecast. But the hours of heavy rain are a real concern, especially in farmland where flooding has been reported.

“It’s horrific. Everything has disappeared. I’m in my house and I’m scared,” a resident of a rural farming community told Reuters news agency.

“It’s a disaster,” said Amoy Wellington, who lives in St. Elizabeth South Parish.

I was able to get out briefly Wednesday night to get my car away from the overhanging trees.

There was a full-length mirror lying next to the car—probably one that had fallen from someone’s balcony, a reminder that unexpected things suddenly become missiles in strong winds like this.

Comment on the photo, It rained in Jamaica for 12 hours.

Jamaican power company GPS said 65% – or about 400,000 – of its customers were without power on Thursday morning.

The MP for St Elizabeth South West said the hurricane had dealt a “very devastating blow” to parts of the island.

In a post on X, Floyd Green said in his constituency, “A large number of roofs [have been] “Lost, destroyed houses, killed trees, fallen lampposts, almost all roads are impassable.”

King Charles III, who also holds the throne in several Caribbean countries, said on Thursday he was “deeply saddened to learn of the terrible devastation” left behind by Hurricane Beryl.

The UN has released $4m (£3.1m) from its emergency response fund to help with recovery operations in Jamaica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness thanked “first responders, essential services, security forces and good Samaritans who helped others in this time of crisis” on his X account.

The storm shocked meteorologists with how quickly it intensified, taking just 42 hours to transform from a tropical depression into a major hurricane.

Additional reporting by Alex Smith and Tiffany Wertheimer

Video comment, WATCH: Floods and devastation after Hurricane Beryl hits Jamaica
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