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Hurricane Beryl Roars toward Jamaica

Hurricane Beryl Roars toward Jamaica


Hurricane Beryl was roaring toward Jamaica, with islanders scrambling to make preparations after the powerful Category 4 storm earlier killed at least six people and caused significant damage in the southeast Caribbean.

In Kingston, people boarded up windows, fishermen pulled their boats out of the water before sitting around a table to play dominoes beside a bay, and workers dismantled roadside advertising boards to protect them from the expected lashing winds to come.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Beryl was forecast to weaken slightly over the next day or two, but still be at or near major-hurricane strength when it passes near or over Jamaica later today, near the Cayman Islands on Thursday and into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Friday, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Haiti’s southern coast and the Yucatan’s east coast. Belize issued a tropical storm watch stretching south from its border wi
th Mexico to Belize City.

Late Monday, Beryl became the earliest storm to develop into a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic and peaked at winds of 165 mph (270 kph) Tuesday before weakening to a still-destructive Category 4. Early today, the storm was about 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of Kingston. It had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph (31 kph), the center added.

Beryl was expected to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge to Jamaica, where officials warned residents in flood-prone areas to prepare for evacuation.

Source: Oman News Agency