Hurricane Beryl makes landfall in Mexico, officials warn people to ‘protect life and property’

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early Friday morning as a strong Category 2 storm, after forecasters warned of damaging winds, storm surges of up to three feet and life-threatening surf and rip currents.

Yucatan Department of Civil Defense Confident The storm made landfall at 7:05 a.m. ET north of Tulum with sustained winds of 108 mph and gusts of 136 mph.

Beryl is expected to weaken as it moves over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, where it is expected to remain for the next few hours. Its center is forecast to move north of the peninsula on Friday before moving into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico overnight. It may slowly re-intensify along the Gulf Coast of Mexico and south Texas.

The storm remains on the northern side of its projected track, increasing the chance of landfall in Texas.

Earlier, the National Hurricane Center said it had weakened from a Category 3 to a strong Category 2 storm early Friday morning, but warned that it carries an intense, widespread danger.

“Arrangements to protect lives and property should be completed expeditiously,” the Center said.

The hurricane has already been blamed for nine deaths in Venezuela, Jamaica and the Windward Island nations of Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines. It caused severe damage to several homes in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, officials there said.

As of 3 a.m., Beryl was 77 miles west of the Yucatan Peninsula, the Yucatan Department of Civil Defense said. The peninsula remains under a hurricane warning and the storm will emerge in the Gulf of Mexico Friday night. According to the National Hurricane Center, at 11 a.m. ET, the hurricane was 100 miles east of Progreso, Mexico, along the north coast of Yucatan with sustained winds of 85 mph. Beryl is moving west at 16 mph.

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The peninsula is expected to receive up to 10 inches of rain.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said a landslide was planned for Tulum and urged people to move to higher ground or take shelter elsewhere.

“Don’t hesitate, things can be restored, the most important thing is life,” He said in X Thursday night.

The storm weakened to a Category 2 Thursday, but later strengthened to a Category 3 and had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph by 10 p.m.

Hurricane warnings cover the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Punta Allen to Cancun, including the island of Cozumel, the hurricane center said.

“There is an increased risk of strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rain across northeastern Mexico and southern Texas this weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said.

Beryl’s formation and strength set records. Scientists say that the rapid escalation process is becoming more common Climate change increases sea surface temperatures.

It was the first Category 4 hurricane to form in June and the first Category 4 storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Before Beryl, Hurricane Dennis formed on July 8, 2005.

When Beryl strengthened into a Category 5 storm this week with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph, it became the strongest hurricane ever recorded in July.

American tourists in Mexico hope the storm’s damage is not as bad as expected, while flights in and out of the region have been canceled.

Stay and Wallace Hall of Fort Worth, Texas, are staying at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, about 40 miles north of Tulum, where Beryl is expected to make landfall early Friday.

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“The wind is picking up quite a bit,” Stay Hall said NBC Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. “They’re starting to take down some of the light posts, they’re starting to take some of the cabanas down from the beach.”

Anita Lewis, a tourist from Dallas, Texas, told Reuters: “We are worried about the hurricane, not just for us, but for all the people who travel. We want to get home safely and pray for everyone else, but we’re stuck here.

Anyone stuck at a resort looking for a stiff drink to calm their nerves as the beryl soared may be disappointed: Halls said their hotel has stopped serving alcohol at the behest of the Mexican government.

“I have to realize that I have no control,” Stay Hall said. “Go to prayer mode. We’re going to go to the buffet, eat some snacks, eat some fruit, play some games, and try to pretend nothing happened.

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