Extremely dangerous Hurricane Beryl threatens southeast Caribbean with

Extremely dangerous Hurricane Beryl threatens southeast Caribbean with Category 4 strength

  • , by Balikbayan Store
  • 2 min reading time

Beryl, the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic season, intensified into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm on Sunday, posing a significant threat to the southeast Caribbean with life-threatening winds and storm surges, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The NHC reported that Beryl, located about 350 miles east of Barbados, presents a "very dangerous situation." Residents in the region are urged to follow local government and emergency management instructions closely.

"Beryl is now an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane," the NHC stated. The storm’s eye is predicted to pass over the Windward Islands, including Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Grenada, early Monday.

The storm is expected to bring "potentially catastrophic hurricane-force winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves," the NHC forecasted. Hurricane warnings have been issued for Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Tobago, while tropical storm warnings or watches are in effect for Martinique, Dominica, and Trinidad.

In Bridgetown, Barbados, residents were seen preparing for the storm by stocking up on essential supplies and securing their homes. Cars lined up at gas stations, and supermarkets were crowded with shoppers.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with Grenada, are at the highest risk of being directly hit by the storm’s core early Monday, according to the NHC.

A Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale means Beryl is packing sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour. As of Sunday morning, the NHC estimated Beryl’s maximum sustained winds at 130 mph and warned of "heavy rainfall and localized flooding."

The NHC warned that Beryl is expected to remain powerful as it moves across the Caribbean, advising residents and officials in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the rest of the northwestern Caribbean to monitor its progress carefully.

Hurricane expert Michael Lowry noted the unusual timing of such a powerful storm, stating, "Only five major (Category 3+) hurricanes have been recorded in the Atlantic before the first week of July. Beryl would be the sixth and earliest this far east in the tropical Atlantic."

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had predicted an "extraordinary" hurricane season, with up to seven Category 3 or higher storms expected. They attributed this to warm Atlantic Ocean temperatures and La Niña conditions in the Pacific.

The increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes in recent years are attributed to climate change, causing more frequent and devastating extreme weather events.

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