After leaving the Caribbean islands in ruins, Hurricane Beryl headed towards Jamaica and became a record-breaking Category 5 storm.


Hurricane Beryl, now possible Category 5 hurricaneIt has set its sights on the coast of Jamaica after killing at least one person and wreaking havoc across islands in the Caribbean on Monday.

Beryl tore through dozens of homes in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as it marched off the Windward Islands at 165 mph, where many are still without power or water. By Wednesday afternoon, the storm is forecast to hit Jamaica with life-threatening winds and storm surge.

The storm continues to smash records as it kicks off an exceptionally early hurricane season – now becoming the first Category 5 hurricane on record and the second Atlantic storm of such strength to be recorded in July.

Beryl took just minutes to rip through Grenada on Monday, blasting through buildings and knocking out electricity and phone service to all of the island’s residents, the governor’s office said.

“In half an hour, Cariago was flattened,” Grenada Prime Minister Dicken Mitchell said on Monday.

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Prime Minister Ralph Gonçalves said a path of “enormous destruction, pain (and) suffering” had been torn through neighboring St Vincent and the Grenadines, where at least one person had been reported dead. Some parts of the islands, including hospitals, are without electricity, while others are without water.

About 90% of homes in the nation’s Union Island were damaged or destroyed, Gonsalves said. Hundreds of homes and several schools, churches, and government buildings in St. Vincent also suffered severe damage.

“We wake up tomorrow with our commitment and determination to rebuild our lives and the lives of our families,” Gonsalves said Monday night.

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Although Beryl will fluctuate in strength in the coming days, it is expected to become a “very dangerous major hurricane” — Category 3 or stronger — by midweek, the hurricane center said.

The hurricane will continue to produce strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous seas extending beyond the center of the Caribbean. Although Beryl may not cause a landslide in Jamaica, its outer bands can have significant impacts.

Beryl lashes out at Hispaniola on Tuesday: As Beryl passes through the Caribbean on Tuesday, its strong winds and rain will be felt in Hispaniola. A storm surge of 3 feet and 2 to 6 inches of rain is possible.

Jamaica Braces for Severe Injuries: A cyclone warning is in effect for Jamaica, where government officials have activated the National Disaster Response Protocol. A dangerous storm surge can raise water levels 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels across the island. Between 4 and 8 inches of rain is expected Wednesday, with local amounts of up to 12 inches, which could cause flash flooding.

Extension of State of Emergency in Grenada: The state of emergency in Grenada has been extended until July 7 due to the heavy damage caused by the storm, Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson Neela K. Etienne said. He said 95% of the island of Grenada had lost power. Telecommunications have also been disrupted and some have lost internet service.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines rushes to restore power: Local authorities are “working feverishly, urgently, and very much to get electricity in some places tonight,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said on Monday. Many trees are leaning on power lines. Even so, the prime minister urged government buildings to reopen on Tuesday and, if possible, business owners to open.

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Damaged fishing boats rest on shore after Hurricane Beryl hit the Bridgetown Fish Market in Bridgetown, Barbados on July 1.

Major blow to Barbados fishing industry: Although Barbados was spared the brunt of the storm, the large storm surge damaged many fishing vessels – a huge loss to the country’s fishing industry. Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley said on Monday that at least 20 ships had sunk. Some fishermen in Bridgetown The aquarium complex watched helplessly as violent waves smashed boats into each other or dragged them underwater, CNN affiliate CBC reports. “There’s nothing we can do but watch the total destruction — our livelihood has gone down the drain,” one resident told the CBC.

Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect from the southern coast of the Dominican Republic west of Punta Palenque to the border with Haiti and along the southern coast of Haiti to Anse d’Hainault. Tropical storm-force winds are expected to develop in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday evening.

Trapped Cricket Team and Fans: Some cricket fans who traveled to Barbados for the T20 World Cup – including the victorious Indian team – were unable to leave the island after Cyclone Beryl halted operations at Grantley Adams International Airport. But Motley said the Indian team is likely to fly home on Tuesday after the airport reopens.

Berylline’s rapidly intensifying strength and early arrival during the Atlantic hurricane season is rare and a disturbing indicator that the season is far from normal in global warming due to human-driven climate change.

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This storm has already broken many records. On Sunday it became the first major hurricane – defined as a Category 3 or higher – in the Atlantic in 58 years and reached Category 4 status in June.

According to data from NOAA, it was the strongest known hurricane to pass through the southern Windward Islands, located on the eastern edge of the Caribbean Sea, dating back to 1851.

Hurricanes were able to revive because the ocean is now warm, which is at the height of hurricane season, said Jim Gossin, a hurricane expert and science advisor for the nonprofit First Street Foundation.

“Hurricanes don’t know what month it is, they only know what their surroundings are,” Kosin told CNN. “Beryl breaks records for June because Beryl thinks it’s September.”

Kosin told Ocean Heat that the unprecedented strengthening of beryl “definitely has a human fingerprint on it.”

Forecasters are warning that this hurricane season is shaping up to be unusually active. National Weather Service Forecasters predicted Between 17 and 25 storms have been named this season, with 13 becoming hurricanes.

CNN’s Abel Alvarado, Brandon Miller, Sahar Akbarzai, Mary Gilbert, Hira Humayun, Robert Shackelford, Isaac Yee, Duarte Mendonca and Manveena Suri contributed to this report.

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