Hurricane Beryl: Mexico on ‘red alert’ as storm strengthens

Hurricane Beryl: Mexico on ‘red alert’ as storm strengthens
Hurricane Beryl: Mexico on ‘red alert’ as storm strengthens

Beryl has gathered strength once again as it heads straight for Mexico’s tourist town of Tulum. Authorities there have urged people to take shelter.

Mexican authorities issued a “red alert” on Thursday evening in the nation’s top tourist destinations in anticipation of the deadly Hurricane Beryl.

The storm, which had weakened somewhat on Wednesday from its initial Category 5 strength, gathered speed and wind over the Gulf of Mexico as it approached the Mexican coast.

It is expected to make landfall on the Yucatan peninsula’s eastern coast early Friday, as a Category 3 storm, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC). The agency warned of damaging waves and a dangerous storm surge.

Beryl is the 2024 Atlantic season’s first hurricane which, at its peak, was the earliest Category 5 storm on record. This may only be the start given the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an “extraordinary” storm season this year.

Scientists say human-caused climate change is fueling extreme weather. 

Mexico braces for Beryl

The “red alert” signifies a threat of maximum hazzard from the storm.

Mexican authorities asked people to stay in their homes or go to storm shelters as Beryl neared popular tourist spots like Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Tulum and Puerto Morelos. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged people to take heed for their own safety.

“No hesitating. Material things can be recovered. The most important thing is life,” the president wrote on social media platform X.

He also informed that it may be a direct hit on Tulum, a sleepy resort town which has boomed in recent years to about 50,000 permanent inhabitants and at least as many tourists on a given day. 

‘Everybody is homeless’ — St. Vincent and the Grenadines PM

Beryl has left destruction in its path through the Caribbean islands this week.

In Jamaica, winds tore apart buildings, uprooted trees and took out power grids.

“We’re happy to be alive, happy that the damage was not more extensive,” said Joseph Patterson, a bee keeper in the southwestern Jamaican town of Bogue. He described felled power lines, roads blocked with debris and “tremendous damage” to farms.

Before that, Beryl wrecked St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said in a radio interview that the country’s Union Island was “flattened” by Beryl. “Everybody is homeless … It is going to be a Herculean effort to rebuild.”

The situation is “Armageddon-like,” Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said in a video briefing on Tuesday. “There is no power. There is almost complete destruction of homes and buildings,” he had said, citing impassable roads due to downed power lines and destroyed fuel stations crimping supplies.

So far at least eight people have died and several are missing due to the storm. 

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