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Hurricane Beryl remains a strong Category 4 storm as it approaches Jamaica

Jamaica is under a hurricane warning. The storm is expected to bring hurricane conditions to the island by Wednesday.
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Posted at 7:57 PM, Jul 01, 2024

Hurricane Beryl remains a strong Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday evening as it moves through the Caribbean.

The storm is sustaining 150 mph winds. It is now about 300 miles southeast of Jamaica, where life-threatening winds and storm surge are expected to arrive on Wednesday. A hurricane warning was issued for the island ahead of the storm on Monday.

The Meteorological Service of the Cayman Islands upgraded its hurricane watch to a warning Tuesday and forecasters predict the storm will reach the Caymans by Wednesday night.

The south coast of Haiti to its border with the Dominican Republic was under a hurricane watch as of Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday evening, Mexico initiated a hurricane watch for the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal to Cabo Catoche. The storm is expected to approach the Yucatan coast by Thursday night.

Belize is now also under a tropical storm watch south of Chetumal to Belize City.

Hurricane Beryl could dump up to 12 inches of rain in some localized areas as it moves across Jamaica and the Caymans, likely causing flash flooding and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said. Storm surge could raise water levels by as much as 5 to 8 feet.

The storm became the earliest Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin on record late Monday after a NOAA Hurricane Hunters aircraft recorded a sustained wind of 160 mph inside the hurricane.

After reaching winds of 165 mph early Tuesday, Beryl became the strongest July hurricane on record in the Atlantic. Anything over 156 mph sustained winds is considered an extremely dangerous Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

On Monday, the hurricane brought significant damage to island communities in the southwest Caribbean, where it made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds.

The storm ripped off roofs and doors on the island of Carriacou and swamped streets and businesses on the island of Barbados. It snapped trees and downed power lines, leaving residents in the dark and with limited communication as they made their first assessments of the storm's damage.

At least six people have been killed as a result of the storm: Three in Grenada and Carriacou, one person in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and at least two people in Brazil.

Officials said Carriacou and the islands around it were dealing with significant storm surge. They said "reports of devastation" were starting to come in from the region, and said they would travel to survey conditions once it was safe to do so.

Beryl is expected to keep much of its strength as it moves deeper into the Caribbean toward Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, forecasters said.

Related story: Hurricane Beryl makes landfall in Caribbean with 'extremely dangerous' 150 mph winds