Hurricane Beryl Batters Jamaica and Caribbean, Heads Toward Cayman Islands

Hurricane Beryl, now a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, lashed Jamaica with powerful winds, torrential rain, and intense waves. The storm, previously the strongest ever recorded in July as a Category 5, caused significant damage across the Caribbean, including devastation in the Windward Islands and severe flooding in Venezuela. Despite the destruction, Jamaica reported no fatalities, though 500 residents sought shelter. Prime Minister Andrew Holness emphasized the ongoing threat, urging evacuation for those in vulnerable areas.

As Beryl moved west, it skirted Jamaica’s southern coast and continued towards the Cayman Islands, where shelters were prepared in anticipation of the storm. The National Hurricane Center warned of storm surges up to 4 feet and rainfall up to 6 inches as Beryl neared the islands. Meanwhile, Texas state authorities issued advisories for coastal residents to remain vigilant over the holiday weekend, with Governor Greg Abbott ready to deploy emergency resources if necessary.

The storm left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, particularly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Barbados. With at least seven deaths reported across the region, local governments are grappling with the aftermath. The storm is forecasted to cross the Yucatán Peninsula and potentially impact southern Texas or Mexico, maintaining its status as a significant hurricane.

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