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Hurricane Beryl, which has already killed seven people, is heading towards Mexico

Hurricane Béryl swept awayé Thursday the Cayman Islands and heads towards Mexico, with winds blowing up to 190 km/h, causing significant destruction in the Caribbean and Venezuela.

Béryl, exceptionally powerful and early for the hurricane season, has already caused seven deaths on its path, including three in Venezuela.

In the Cayman Islands, the storm caused flash floods and mudslides in the morning. In Jamaica, more than 400,000 people found themselves without electricity after it passed on Wednesday and homes were razed.

King Charles III, the head of state in several Caribbean countries, said Thursday he was “deeply saddened” by these “terrible destructions”.

Mexico, in turn, is preparing for the arrival of the hurricane on the tourist peninsula of Yucatan.

On site, the authorities have closed schools, prepared around a hundred shelters and announced the deployment of hundreds of soldiers and technicians specializing in power lines.

“We will have intense rains and gusts of wind starting on Thursday,” warned the national civil protection coordinator, Laura Velazquez.

In cities, including the resort town of Tulum, activities will be suspended starting at 4 p.m. Thursday. Laura Velazquez urged people to go to the nearest shelter when the storm arrives.

Hurricane Beryl, which has already killed seven people, is heading towards Mexico

The doors and windows of a house protected by wooden panels before the arrival of Hurricane Beryl, July 3, 2024 in Cancun, Mexico © AFP – Elizabeth Ruiz

Béryl was once classified as category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and became the earliest hurricane ever recorded by the American meteorological services.

It devastated several states such as Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadine, where “90% of homes were swept away” on Union, one of the islands of the archipelago, declared its Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

Since then, Béryl has returned to force 3 but remains “dangerous”, underlined the American National Hurricane Center.

– Climate change –

For scientists, climate change, in particular by warming the waters of the oceans which constitute the fuel for these storms, making their rapid intensification more likely and increasing the risk of more powerful hurricanes.

Hurricane Beryl, which has already killed seven people, is heading towards Mexico

Motorists queue at a gas station before the arrival of Hurricane Beryl on July 2, 2024 in Portmore, Jamaica © AFP – Ricardo Makyn

“It is clear that the climate crisis is pushing disasters to new record levels of destruction,” observed Simon Stell, the head of UN Climate, originally from Grenada, in a statement sent to AFP. According to his office, his late grandmother's house was destroyed and his parents' house was seriously damaged during the hurricane.

Such a powerful storm is extremely rare this early in the hurricane season, which runs from early June to late November in the Atlantic.

Hurricane Beryl, which has already killed seven people, is heading towards Mexico

Flooding after the passage of Hurricane Beryl in Cumanacoa, in the state of Sucre, on July 2, 2024 in Venezuela © AFP – Victor GONZALEZ

The American Weather Observatory (NOAA) warned at the end of May that the season was expected to be extraordinary, with the possibility of four to seven Category 3 or higher hurricanes.

These forecasts are notably linked to the expected development of the La Nina meteorological phenomenon, as well as to the very high temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean, explains NOAA.

The temperatures of the North Atlantic have been evolving for more than a year at record heat levels, significantly above those recorded in the annals.< /p> All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116