Hurricane Beryl: Many Jamaicans are without power after the storm

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

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

Millions of homes were without power in Jamaica on Wednesday night as Cyclone Beryl lashed the island’s southern coast with thunder and lightning.

The category four storm – one of the most powerful to hit the country so far – brought heavy rain for more than 12 hours, prompting fears of flash flooding.

A nationwide curfew has been extended until 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Thursday, and a tornado warning has been cancelled, replaced by a flash flood watch.

Once the sun rises and the curfew ends, residents will be able to go out and get a real idea of ​​the damage.

Beryl has now weakened to a Category 3 storm and is moving toward the Cayman Islands and southern Mexico, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Hurricane Beryl’s predicted path

But it left a trail of devastation across the Caribbean and killed at least seven people.

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.

Energy provider JPS said Thursday morning that 65% of its customers, or about 400,000, were without power.

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 destroyed, trees uprooted, power poles down, almost all roads impassable.”

Caribbean media reports that the UN has unlocked $4m (£3.1m) from its emergency relief 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.

“This storm will pass and we will recover,” he said.

Beryl is now thundering towards the Cayman Islands, where “strong winds, dangerous storm surge and damaging waves are expected”, the NHC warned.

The islands’ tourism minister, Kenneth Bryant, told the BBC that while most people could withstand the wind, floodwaters were also a major concern there.

Hurricane Beryl has already wreaked havoc in Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and northern Venezuela. At least seven people are known to have died.

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

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