Beryl strengthens, bringing deadly storms to Texas coast | Climate News

The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength again in the Gulf of Mexico after at least 11 people were killed across the Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Beryl is expected to strengthen as it heads towards Texas in the US after leaving a deadly trail in the Caribbean.

The storm is expected to hit the Texas coast Sunday night, two days after making landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Beryl has been downgraded to a tropical storm but is expected to strengthen again into a hurricane as it moves through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

No deaths were reported in Mexico, but at least 11 people were killed across the Caribbean as Hurricane Beryl brought strong winds and heavy rains to Jamaica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and northern Venezuela.

According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm quickly strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane as it struck the region, before briefly reaching Category 5 strength.

This was the most violent storm ever recorded at the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, a reality that scientists say is caused by human-made climate change.

Waves crashing as Hurricane Beryl hits Playa del Carmen, Mexico [Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters]

Jack Beven, a senior NHC hurricane specialist, told The Associated Press that Beryl is expected to make landfall somewhere between the Texas cities of Brownsville and northern Corpus Christi as a Category 1 hurricane.

But he warned that the storm could strengthen further “if Beryl remains at sea longer than expected.”

He said wind speeds in the storm could increase to 27 to 37 kilometers per hour (17 to 23 miles per hour) over the next 24 hours.

The agency warned of high tides, flash flooding and life-threatening rip currents along the coasts of northeast Mexico and Texas.

Beryl caused property damage and power outages across Mexico’s main tourist destination, the Yucatan Peninsula.

As the storm approached, hundreds of tourists were evacuated from coastal hotels and the military sent about 8,000 soldiers to Tulum with food and 34,000 liters (9,000 gallons) of purified water.

Around 100 domestic and international flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday were cancelled at Cancun’s airport.

The storm moved along Venezuela’s northern coast, killing three people.

In Grenada, Carriacou and neighbouring Petite Martinique were the two hardest hit islands, with a further three deaths reported.

Andrews Islands Minister Tevin on Friday called on the United Nations and humanitarian organisations to “do everything in their power to ensure the survival of humanity”.

Neighbouring Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was also hard hit, Simon Springett, the top UN humanitarian official for the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, told The Associated Press, where at least three more people were reported dead.

Beryl Jamaica
Olive Rowe stands among the remains of her home after Hurricane Beryl in St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica. [Maria Alejandra Cardona/Reuters]

Two people have died in Jamaica while thousands remain without power.

Abnormally warm ocean waters are responsible for the massive storms, and are believed to be the main cause of Beryl’s strength.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic remain 1 to 3 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than normal.


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