Hurricane Beryl: Many Jamaicans are without power after the storm

video title, Cayman Islands and Mexico face Hurricane Beryl

  • author, Nick Davies
  • stock, BBC News, Kingston

Millions of homes in Jamaica are without power following Hurricane Beryl.

A category four storm – one of the most powerful to ever hit the country – hit the island’s southern coast on Wednesday night, bringing heavy rain for more than 12 hours.

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

Beryl, now weakened to a two-type storm, is heading toward Mexico and the Cayman Islands. It wreaked havoc across the Caribbean, killing at least 10 people.

Three deaths each were reported in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Venezuela, and one in Jamaica.

The storm destroyed almost every house on the two small islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Marieau and Union.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts strong winds and dangerous storm surge and waves will hit the Yucatan Peninsula early Friday morning.

The cyclone is expected to bring 10cm (4in) to 15cm (6in) of rain across the peninsula on Friday, with some areas receiving up to 10in.

Hurricane Beryl’s predicted path

While the winds here in the capital city of Kingston were very strong, they were not as hurricane-force as expected. But the hours of heavy rains are a real concern, especially in agricultural lands where floods have been reported.

One resident of a rural farming community told Reuters news agency: “It’s terrible. Everything is gone. I’m in my house, I’m scared.”

“It’s a disaster,” said Amoy Wellington, a resident of St. Elizabeth’s South Parish.

On Wednesday night, I was able to get out of the trees for a while to move my car.

A full-length mirror lay next to the car—it might have flown off someone’s balcony, a reminder that unexpected objects can suddenly become missiles in strong winds.

image caption, It rained for 12 hours in Jamaica

Jamaica’s energy provider JPS said 65% – or 400,000 of its customers – were without power on Thursday morning.

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

Posting in X, Floyd Green wrote in his volume that “a considerable number of roofs [have been] Lost, houses collapsed, trees uprooted, power poles down, almost all roads impassable”.

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

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

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

Meteorologists were shocked by how quickly the storm intensified – it took just 42 hours to go from a tropical depression to a major hurricane.

Additional reporting by Alex Smith and Tiffany Wertheimer

video title, See: Flooding and destruction after Hurricane Beryl hits Jamaica
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