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At least 7 dead as hurricane Beryl storms through Caribbean en route for Mexico

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Hurricane Beryl stormed through Jamaica overnight as a Category 4 storm, ripping roofs off buildings and causing significant damage as it left at least seven people dead in the southeast Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center said Beryl has now been downgraded to a Category 3 storm but will continue pass through the Cayman Islands early Thursday morning before tracking toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, bringing strong winds, widespread flooding, and dangerous storm surge. Areas of the Cayman Islands could see storm surges of as much as 2 to 4 feet above normal. Portions of the Yucatan could experience storm surges of 4 to 6 feet.

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As of Wednesday night, the Beryl had top sustained winds of 130 mph, down from its peak intensity of 165 mph on Tuesday.

“Strong winds, dangerous storm surge, damaging waves, and areas of flooding are expected to occur in the Cayman Islands today where a Hurricane Warning remains in effect,” the National Hurricane Center said in a statement. “Hurricane-force winds, dangerous storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize beginning tonight as Beryl approaches that area as a hurricane.”

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Officials in Mexico issued a hurricane warning for the coast from Puerto Costa Maya to Cancun ahead of the storm’s anticipated arrival. Forecasters said there is still considerable uncertainty over Beryl’s intensity and track in the coming days. Wind shear is expected to cause the major storm to weaken, but not all computerized forecast models agree on how much of a factor wind shear will be.

Beryl is the first Atlantic hurricane of the season and has drawn on the fuel of warm ocean waters to become the earliest Category 4 hurricane on record.

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