Caribbean Braces for Impact as Hurricane Beryl Intensifies


A powerful storm is sweeping through the Caribbean, with a significant threat of destruction and disruption as it approaches the region. The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for Barbados, with forecasters warning that the storm could intensify into a major hurricane before making landfall.

Beryl, the latest hurricane to form in the tropical Atlantic, has already broken a 90-year-old record by becoming the furthest east a hurricane has formed in June. The storm’s center is currently passing about 720 miles east-southeast of Barbados, with sustained winds of 75 mph and moving west at 22 mph.

The island’s meteorological service has predicted that Beryl will pass about 26 miles south of Barbados, before moving on to Jamaica and eventually Mexico. In the meantime, a tropical storm watch has been issued for St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while a hurricane watch has been issued for Martinique, Dominica, and Tobago.

As the storm approaches, many people are preparing for the worst, including tourists who are in Barbados for the Twenty20 World Cup cricket final. Thousands of fans are said to be in the island, and local officials are urging them to leave as quickly as possible.

The storm has already affected some cricket fans, who had planned to watch the final on Sunday. Shashank Musku, a 33-year-old physician who is in Barbados for the event, had to change his flights due to the storm. “I don’t plan on being in one, either,” he said in a phone interview.

Despite the dire warnings, some residents are not overly concerned about the storm. Mark Spence, manager of a hostel in Barbados, said that he is always prepared for such events. “It’s the season. You can get a storm any time,” he said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that the 2024 hurricane season is likely to be well above average, with between 17 and 25 named storms. The forecast calls for as many as 13 hurricanes and four major hurricanes, including Beryl.

Meanwhile, a cluster of thunderstorms is closely following Beryl’s path, with a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression by the middle of next week. Caribbean leaders are not only worried about Beryl, but also about the potential disruption this could cause.

Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American not-for-profit news agency headquartered in New York City.

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