Hurricane Beryl updates: Tulum hit by category 2 storm

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Last updated: Friday, July 5, 2024 4:29PM GMT
Hurricane Beryl could hit Tulum as a category 3 storm
Andrea Fuji has the latest on Beryl's path.

Hurricane Beryl roared ashore on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula near the resort town of Tulum as a Category 2 storm early Friday, whipping trees and knocking out power after leaving a trail of destruction that killed at least 11 people across the Caribbean. The storm has now been downgraded to category 1.

Here's the latest.

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Here's how the news is developing.
Jul 05, 2024, 5:09 PM GMT

Beryl slams into Mexico's coast as a Category 2 hurricane after killing 11 across the Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl strengthened back into a Category 3 storm and headed for what could be a direct hit on Mexico's Caribbean coast resort of Tulum early Friday, where authorities urged tourists to leave white sand beaches.

Beryl was the earliest Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic before weakening to a Category 2 storm. But it regained strength late Thursday with windspeeds of 115 mph (185 kph) as it neared landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a statement late Thursday saying Beryl may make a direct hit on Tulum, which, while smaller than Cancun, still holds thousands of tourists and residents.

"It is recommendable that people get to higher ground, shelters or the homes of friends or family elsewhere," López Obrador wrote. "Don't hesitate, material possessions can be replaced."

Once a sleepy, laid-back village, in recent years Tulum has boomed with unrestrained development and now has about 50,000 permanent inhabitants and at least as many tourists on an average day. The resort now has its own international airport, but it is largely low-lying, just a few yards (meters) above sea level.

As Friday began, the storm's center was about 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Tulum and was moving west at 16 mph (about 26 kph), the hurricane center said.

On Friday, Beryl was expected to weaken as it crossed over the Yucatan peninsula and re-emerge in the Gulf of Mexico, where the surprisingly resilient storm could once again become a hurricane and make a second landfall around Mexico's border with Texas next week.

Jul 03, 2024, 10:01 AM GMT

Vacationing family from New Jersey stuck in Jamaica

As the storm barrels toward Jamaica, people are on high alert, including a New Jersey family on vacation, who were hoping to make it off the island before the storm arrives.

The Simon family spent six days in Montego Bay. For them, this trip was a long-awaited getaway and college graduation celebration.

"It's actually beautiful. It's beautiful," said Brett Savage-Simon from Bloomfield, New Jersey.

But the tropical beauty captured in some of their pictures will soon be replaced with storm-force winds and torrential rain.

Beryl, the first hurricane of the season, has already left a deadly trail of devastation in several Caribbean islands including Grenada, Barbados, and St. Lucia. Now it's roaring towards Jamaica.

"I am encouraging all Jamaicans to take the hurricane as a serious threat," said Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness. "It is, however, not a time for panic. It is a time for us to be very strategic and calculated in our approach."

Darla Miles has the details on a NJ family that is stuck in Jamaica as Hurricane Beryl approaches.

In Kingston on Tuesday, Jamaican citizens took heed to the serious warning, locking down as much as they could before the storm makes landfall.

"It developed so quick, from a tropical impression, so fast," said Clive Davis, a local fisherman in Kingston. "It's the first time this developed in June, July. Got me taking this serious."

Unfortunately, the resort guests in Montego Bay and the Simon family, who were hoping to get out early, may be out of luck.

"We hope to get out of here before it hits and we hope the other people are OK, but when you hear there's a Category 5, and it could be coming our way, but like I told you, there's no sign of it now. So, when it gets here, we'll be ready," said Savage-Simon.

As of Tuesday evening, the Simon family said their scheduled flight back to New Jersey has already been canceled.

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Jul 03, 2024, 9:22 AM GMT

Hurricane Beryl roars toward Jamaica

Hurricane Beryl was roaring toward Jamaica on Wednesday, with islanders scrambling to make preparations after the powerful Category 4 storm earlier killed at least six people and caused significant damage in the southeast Caribbean.

In Kingston, people boarded up windows, fishermen pulled their boats out of the water before sitting around a table to play dominoes beside a bay, and workers dismantled roadside advertising boards to protect them from the expected lashing winds to come.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Beryl was forecast to weaken slightly over the next day or two, but still be at or near major-hurricane strength when it passes near or over Jamaica on Wednesday, near the Cayman Islands on Thursday and into Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Friday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Haiti's southern coast and the Yucatan's east coast. Belize issued a tropical storm watch stretching south from its border with Mexico to Belize City.

A man covers the windows of a building to protect it from the incoming Hurricane Beryl in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
A man covers the windows of a building to protect it from the incoming Hurricane Beryl in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, July 2, 2024.
Jul 03, 2024, 6:35 AM GMT

'Abbott Elementary' actress checks in from Jamaica

Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is checking in on X from Jamaica as the "potentially catastrophic" Hurricane Beryl moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea.

"From the looks of the sky, it looks like Beryl is going to be here much sooner than the news keeps saying," Ralph reported. "I just wanted to say to everybody, please, stay inside. There's a curfew starting at 6 AM tomorrow night- tomorrow morning. Stay off the road in Kingston. I hope you put oil in your lamp and are taking extra care."

She recalled Hurricane Gilbert, which hit the Caribbean in September 1988, wreaking havoc for nearly nine days.

"We remember that Gilbert was a three and Beryl is a four," she said.

The actress ended the video with a bid goodnight. An hour later, Ralph updated her X, saying she couldn't sleep, but would binge TV to calm her nerves.