• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Deadly Hurricane Beryl hits the Caribbean, causes power outages

Deadly Hurricane Beryl hits the Caribbean, destroys millions of Properties,

A powerful Category 4 hurricane ‘beryl’ has hit at least 10 countries across the Caribbean region with intense wind and rain, causing floods and power outages.

The Hurricane started late Wednesday in Kingston, Jamaica according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), and it headed towards the Cayman Islands packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph), Beryl was expected to dump 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) of rain.

Power outages were widespread across Jamaica, while some roads near the coast were washed out.

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“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 southern St. Elizabeth parish. “It’s a disaster,” to Reuters.

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.

Main airports have been  closed and streets are  mostly empty after Prime Minister Andrew Holness issued a curfew for Wednesday, which was extended Thursday as storm conditions continued.

Prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said in a radio interview that the country’s Union Island was “flattened” by Beryl and that it would “be a Herculean effort to rebuild.”

Confirmed fatalities included at least three in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a senior official told Reuters, where Union Island suffered destruction of more than 90% of buildings.

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Nerissa Gittens-McMillan, permanent secretary at St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ agriculture ministry, warned on state media of possible food shortages after half the country’s plantain and banana crops were lost, with significant losses also to root crops and vegetables.

In Grenada, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell described “Armageddon-like” conditions with no power and widespread destruction, while also confirming three deaths.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Beryl is the 2024 Atlantic season’s first hurricane and the earliest to happen this year.