JAM | Jul 3, 2024

No deaths recorded as eyewall of damaging Hurricane Beryl brushes Jamaica’s south coast

/ Our Today

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Winds from Hurricane Beryl completely gutted the Hampton Court Seventh-Day Adventist Church in St Thomas on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. (Photo: @Donperry)

Hurricane Beryl continues to pummel Jamaica with damaging winds, torrential rain and high storm surge on a path of destruction through the northwestern Caribbean this afternoon (July 3).

The system, which was initially forecast to weaken while clearing the island’s territorial waters by 6:00 pm local time, has its forward speed slightly slowed around midday but remains a dangerous hurricane.

As at 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), the centre of Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 17.5 North, longitude 77.6 West—or roughly 100 kilometres west-southwest of the capital Kingston.

Completely blanketed by Category 4 Hurricane Beryl, this satellite-generated time-lapse shows activity in the central Caribbean Sea as at 4:10 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. (Content courtesy of NOAA/NHC)

Maintaining its Category 4 intensity, Beryl is barrelling west-northwest at 31 kilometres/hour and currently packs maximum sustained winds near 220 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 75 kilometres from the centre and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 295 kilometres.

In its 5:00 pm bulletin, the Meteorological Service of Jamaica advised that the hurricane warning issued for the island is still active as Beryl churns generally westward.

A computer-generated, five-day projection for the centre of Hurricane Beryl, and its progression through sections of the northwestern Caribbean up to 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Wednesday, July 3, 2022. (Photo: National Hurricane Center)

“Hurricane Beryl continues to move along the southern coastline of Jamaica…with dangerously high water, exceptionally high waves and average winds of at least 119 kilometres/hour,” the agency noted.

“The centre of Hurricane Beryl is expected to continue moving adjacent to the southern coastline of Jamaica this afternoon before moving away from the island during the evening,” the Met Service added.

Extensive infrastructural damage has been reported island-wide, particularly in Montego Bay, where a bridge collapsed after residents lit a fire to get rid of accumulating debris and the Norman Manley International Airport, which suffered sections of torn-off roofing. The parishes of St Thomas, Portland and Clarendon have been among the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Beryl.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), during a press briefing this afternoon, disclosed that some 488 Jamaicans are being housed in State-run shelters island-wide.

ODPEM, in updates throughout the day, noted that several sections of the country remain blocked or impassable at this time.

ParishAreas blocked/impassable
St ElizabethHolland Bamboo
Gutters to Tombstone
Goshen main road
WestmorelandBarracks Road, Savanna-la-Mar
HanoverRiley to Glasgow main road, Kingsvale
Riley to Bushmouth
St AnnAlexandria to Grenock Bridge
St MaryRobins Bay
Bellfield Road
St CatherineBog Walk Gorge
Ewarton main road
Linstead main road
Vanity Fair bridge, Linstead
Above Rock and Bog Walk in the vicinity of Edwards Piece
Kingston & St AndrewLyndhurst Road
Gordon Town main road
Crescent and St Joseph roads, leading to Spanish Town Road
Port Royal main road
Temple Hall main road
Longwall Road, Stony Hill
St ThomasRoselle main road
PortlandPort Antonio to Nonsuch
Fair Prospect to Folly
Data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and National Works Agency as at 5:30 pm Jamaica time*

At today’s press briefing, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was advised that ODPEM has adequate supplies and provisions to ensure that the needs of persons in shelters are addressed.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness addresses the media during a visit to the National Emergency Operations Centre, located at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) in Kingston, on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. In the background is Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie. (Photo: JIS)

There have been no reports of deaths associated with Hurricane Beryl’s passage at this time.

Meanwhile, Holness also informed that there have been reports of storm surge affecting parts of the country, including St Thomas, adding that he expects to hear some reports coming out of the southwestern end of the island, such as Portland Cottage in Clarendon.

“That means that the Government will have to mobilise persons very quickly to ensure that the coastal infrastructure, which is critical to the road network, can be cleared very quickly,” he said.


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