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19 Jul 2024 5:35
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  •   Home > News > International

    Hurricane Beryl leaves trail of destruction across Caribbean

    Hurricane Beryl tears across the Atlantic Ocean, leaving at least 11 people dead in the Caribbean and three in the US state of Texas.

    Hurricane Beryl has been barrelling through the Atlantic for more than a week, hitting Caribbean islands including Grenada, Venezuela and Jamaica before moving on to Mexico and Texas.

    After forming over exceptionally warm ocean waters, Beryl was named the fastest-developing category five Atlantic hurricane on record.

    Caribbean islands saw 'Armageddon-like' conditions

    Beryl weakened to a still-destructive category four before making landfall on Carriacou, in Grenada, where at least three people died.

    Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell described "Armageddon-like" conditions that cut power and caused widespread destruction.

    "In half an hour, Carriacou was flattened," he said.

    The hurricane also passed Barbados, Haiti and the Dominican Republic — and barrelled over Venezuela, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

    Here, entire towns — even whole islands — were flattened. 

    Hurricane Beryl ripped roofs off of homes and destroyed and tangled up boats on shorelines. Waves full of debris crashed onto the sand.

    At least three people died in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and another three in Venezuela.

    It hit Jamaica last Wednesday, then weakened to a still-destructive category three hurricane and skirted over the Cayman Islands on its way to Mexico.

    At least two people died in Jamaica, which saw widespread power outages across the country's north and roads near the coast washed away or blocked by fallen trees and utility poles.

    The United Nations has allocated more than $US4 million ($5.93 million) in relief to the Caribbean islands affected by the hurricane, some of which saw more than 90 per cent of homes destroyed.

    Tens of thousands without power in Mexico

    Beryl swept through Tulum, Mexico, on Friday as a slightly weakened category two hurricane, leaving tens of thousands of residents without power.

    Residents sheltered in schools and hotels, and officials patrolled beaches to evacuate residents and tourists alike.

    The army organised soup kitchens at shelters for displaced residents to find respite, while others risked travelling through streets heavily flooded by the wind and rain that had whipped the seaside.

    No deaths were recorded in Tulum as a result of the storm.

    Resident Luci´a Nagera Balcaza, 37, expressed relief after Beryl passed.

    "Thank God, we woke up this morning and everything was all right," she said.

    "The streets are a disaster, but we're out here cleaning up."

    After passing Tulum, Beryl weakened further into a tropical storm — then regained strength over the Gulf of Mexico and headed towards Texas.

    Texas and surrounding states to see flooding, tornadoes

    In Texas — where Beryl made landfall as a category one hurricane on Monday — Beryl unleashed heavy wind and rain, toppling trees and power lines.

    Boarded-up windows lined suburbs. 

    Cars were stranded on flooded highways, with officials performing at least 25 high-water rescues. 

    Residents stayed put inside homes and hotels as nearly 3 million people were left without power.

    At least three people have died in the US state.

    After the worst of the hurricane passed, many residents worked to clear roads from tree branches and other debris.

    Beryl pushed inland until it weakened to a tropical depression, though officials warned flooding from the event would last well into the week.

    The weather service in Shreveport has issued tornado warnings across north-west Louisiana. 

    The agency confirmed on social media that multiple tornadoes had been spotted in that corner of the state. 

    Beryl is forecast to bring more strong rain and winds into additional states over the coming days. 

    "This is not a one-day event," Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said.


    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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