Hurricane Beryl heads toward Gulf of Mexico after path of destruction across Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl heads toward Gulf of Mexico after path of destruction across Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl was heading toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday after nearly flattening communities, displacing thousands and killing at least nine people across the Caribbean region.

The center of the record-breaking storm, the earliest to develop into a Category 5 hurricane was moving away from the southwest of Grand Cayman Island in a west-northwest direction at about 20 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 a.m. ET update.

Palm trees sway as the wind and rain from Hurricane Beryl pass through on July 03, 2024, in Kingston, Jamaica. Beryl has caused widespread damage in several island nations as it continues to cross the Caribbean. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Palm trees sway as the wind and rain from Hurricane Beryl pass through on July 3, 2024, in Kingston, Jamaica. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that maximum sustained winds were near 120 mph early Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds extending 45 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 175 miles.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the Cayman Islands and the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, which separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea, from Puerto Costa Maya to Cancun, including Cozumel — a popular tourist destination.

Dangerous storm surges and damaging waves are expected in the Cayman Islands throughout Thursday morning.

Beryl, which has since been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, destroyed 95% of homes on a pair of islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Three people were killed in Grenada and Carriacou, while one person was reported dead in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, officials said. There were also three deaths reported in Venezuela.

At least two people in Jamaica have died as a result of the storm. A 20-year-old was washed away by flood waters as he attempted to retrieve a soccer ball in the capital Kingston, the Jamaica Observer reported.

A 26-year-old woman was killed in northwest Jamaica Wednesday night after “a tree came down on her house,” officials told the paper.

With News Wire Services




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