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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Hurricane Beryl is causing 'catastrophic damage', set to make landfall in hours

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Beryl, the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, is heading towards the Caribbean islands. According to the National Hurricane Center, the element at one point reached category four and wind speeds of 215 kilometers per hour. Frantic preparations are underway on the islands before the hurricane hits.

Hurricane Beryl is raging in the Atlantic, the first of this season. According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), on the night from Sunday to Monday the element was located about 175 kilometers southeast of Barbados and was accompanied by winds of 195 kilometers per hour. Previously, it carried gusts of up to 215 km/h, which classified it as the fourth category on the five-point, ascending Saffir-Simpson scale.

The center of the hurricane is expected to move through the Windward Islands — a strip of islands separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic — on Monday morning as a Category 3 hurricane. It could cause “potentially catastrophic damage” to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

– Storm gusts and waves dangerous to human life will arrive in just a few hours – said the NHC.

Hurricane Beryl's Forecasted PathNHC/NOAA

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Record-breaking hurricane

As meteorologists have noted, storms The fourth category very rarely forms in early July. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30, and stronger phenomena usually occur in later months. On Sunday, Beryl became the earliest hurricane on record, beating Hurricane Dennis, which struck on July 8, 2005.

Hurricane warnings were issued in many island countries in the Caribbean – Barbados, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago were preparing for the hurricane. A tropical storm warning was also issued for Dominica and parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago opened shelters, canceled school classes on Monday and asked hospitals to postpone scheduled surgeries. In Saint Vincent and Barbados, residents boarded up their windows, filled their car tanks, and stocked up on food and water.

– I think I'm well prepared, but I came for a few more things – said one of the residents of Barbados in an interview with the Reuters news agency. – When it comes to getting the house ready, I have bottled water, extra groceries, batteries, battery-powered lamps, and all the other things I need.

Floods, strong winds

On Monday alone, the hurricane is expected to bring 80 to 150 liters of rain per square meter to Barbados and the southern Windward Islands, which NHC warnings could cause flash flooding. Large, dangerous waves are also expected to hit the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are expecting a larger than average number of hurricanes and storms this year. Forecasters are expecting more than 17 severe storms, 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

Main image source: NOAA/NESDIS/STAR – GOES-East

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