Hurricane Barrel hits Jamaica, roars toward Mexico.


TULUM, Mexico (AP) — After leaving a path of destruction in the eastern Caribbean and killing at least nine people, Hurricane Beryl was downgraded to a Category 3 storm late Thursday as it slammed into Mexico's resort-bound Yucatan island. Climbed over the open water towards Nama.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the barrel was Oldest Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic OceanAfter weakening early Thursday, it now had sustained winds of 115 mph (185 km/h).

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a statement saying the barrel could hit Tulum directly, which is smaller than Cancun but still hosts thousands of tourists and residents.

“It is recommended that people get to higher ground, to shelters or to the homes of friends or family,” López Obrador wrote. “Don't hesitate, material possessions can be replaced.”

“The biggest immediate threat now is that this storm is moving away from the Cayman Islands, making landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula,” said Jack Bevan, senior hurricane specialist at the U.S. Hurricane Center.

Image

Furniture store employees board windows for protection ahead of the expected arrival of Hurricane Barrel, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Image

This image provided by NASA shows Hurricane Barrel from the International Space Station on Sunday, July 1, 2024. The barrel roared toward Jamaica on Wednesday, July 3, with islanders scrambling to prepare after the powerful Category 4 storm killed at least six people earlier. and significant damage in the southeastern Caribbean. (NASA via AP)

The storm was centered about 135 miles (220 km) east-southeast of Tulum, Mexico and moving west-northwest at 16 mph (about 26 km/h).

Beryl was expected to bring heavy rain and winds along Mexico's Caribbean coast, before crossing the Yucatan Peninsula and making a second strike over northeastern Mexico while resting in the Gulf of Mexico.

As the wind picked up on Tulum's white-sand beaches Thursday afternoon, four-wheelers with megaphones rolled along the sand, urging people to leave. Tourists took photos of the surging surf, but military officials urged them to leave as the barrel headed toward an expected landfall near Tulum early Friday.

Over the past few days, Beryl has damaged or destroyed 95% of homes on a pair of islands in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, overturned fishing boats in Barbados and ripped off roofs in Jamaica, passing the Cayman Islands early Thursday. before

Mexico's popular Caribbean coast has set up shelters, evacuating and even relocating some small coastal communities. Sea turtle eggs at risk from storm surges off shores.

Image
Image

In Playa del Carmen, most businesses were closed Thursday and some boarded up windows as tourists woke up and some locals walked their dogs under sunny skies. In Tulum, authorities closed things down and evacuated beachside hotels.

Francisco Bencomo, general manager of Hotel Yumi in Tulum, said all his guests had left. “With these conditions, we will be completely closed,” he said, adding that there are no plans to allow guests to return before July 10.

We have cut gas and electricity. We also have an emergency floor where two maintenance workers will be doing lockdown,” he said from the hotel. “We've put them in rooms away from the beach and the windows.”

Image

Rescue workers recover the body of a police officer who state officials say died while assessing damage from heavy rains in Alto Lucero, Veracruz, Mexico, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Image

People lounge on the beach as the sun sets ahead of the expected arrival of Hurricane Barrel, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Wednesday, July 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

“I hope that we have minimal impact on the hotel, that the hurricane moves quickly through Tulum, and that it's nothing serious,” he said.

Tourists were also being careful. “This morning we woke up and filled all our empty water bottles with tap water and put them in the freezer … so we had water to flush,” said Laura Marsters, a 54-year-old therapist visiting Tulum from Boise, Idaho. There will be toilets.”

“We expect the power to go out,” Marsters said. “We're going to hunt and be safe.”

“We're going to get the last of the sun today. And then it's just going to be hunkered down and just stay home,” said tourist Miriam Citra, 34, from Dallas, Texas, eating a sandwich on the beach early Thursday. Stay inside until hopefully it passes.

But when Beryl re-emerges in the Gulf of Mexico a day later, forecasters say it is expected to regain hurricane strength and make landfall in Matamoros, near the Mexico-US border. Is. The area was already drenched by Tropical Storm Alberto in June.

Velázquez said temporary storm shelters were in place at schools and hotels but efforts to evacuate some of the most exposed villages – such as Punta Allen, which sits on a narrow spit of land south of Tulum – and Mahool, further south, were halted. I – have been only partially successful.

The worst damage to the barrel appeared to be behind it. The eye wall was cleared from Jamaica's south coast on Wednesday afternoon, while telephone poles and trees blocked roads in Kingston on Thursday morning.

Authorities confirmed the death of a teenager Wednesday after he was swept into a storm drain while trying to retrieve a ball. A woman also died due to the collapse of the house.

Taking advantage of the break in the rain, the residents started removing the debris.

Sixty percent of the island remained without electricity, with water shortages and limited telecommunications. Government officials were assessing the damage, but were hampered by a lack of communication, particularly in the southern parishes that suffered the most damage.

Some 1,432 people were left in shelters in Jamaica, like Desirine Campbell, a resident of the low-lying community of Old Harbor Bay, who cried, “My house is almost flooded!”

Nearby, Carlton Goulding lamented, “I lost everything this time.” Goulding's home was completely destroyed by the hurricane, the second time it has been damaged by storms.

In the south central parish of Clarendon, residents scrambled to repair damaged roofs and clear fallen trees. Several roads in the area are partially blocked due to downed electricity and telecommunication poles.

The premier of the Cayman Islands, Julianna O'Connor, thanked residents and visitors for contributing to “collective calm” ahead of the barrel by following hurricane protocol on Thursday.

Michelle Forbes, St. Vincent and the Grenadines director of the National Emergency Management Organization, said about 95 percent of the homes in Mayrio and Union Island were damaged by Hurricane Barrell.

Authorities said three people died in Grenada and Carriacou, and another in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Three other deaths were reported in northern Venezuela, where four people are missing, officials said.

One fatality occurred in Grenada after a tree fell on a house, Environment Minister Karen James told The Associated Press.

Also, the US National Hurricane Center said Thursday that Tropical Storm Alita has formed in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico. Aleta, located about 190 miles (310 km) from Manzanillo and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 km/h), was forecast to hit the coast later this week. By the end of the year, it will be removed from the earth and dispersed.

___

Myers reported from Kingston, Jamaica. Associated Press writers Renloe Trail in Kingston, Jamaica; Mark Stevenson, Maria Varza and Mariana Martinez Barba in Mexico City; Coral Murphy Marcos in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Lucans Olivier in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines contributed to this report.



Leave a Comment

“The Untold Story: Yung Miami’s Response to Jimmy Butler’s Advances During an NBA Playoff Game” “Unveiling the Secrets: 15 Astonishing Facts About the PGA Championship”