Tropical Storm Beryl smashes through Caribbean and heads for Texas coast

Tropical Storm Beryl, which has already smashed its way across the Caribbean as a hurricane before slamming into the Yucatán peninsula, is intensifying once again and expected to make landfall as a hurricane for the third time along the Texas coast.

The powerful hurricane – Beryl is the earliest category 5 hurricane on record – was by early Saturday approximately 495 miles (797km) south-east of Corpus Christi, Texas. The storm is forecast to turn toward the north-west later Saturday and then north/north-westward by Sunday night.

Beryl currently contains maximum sustained winds near 60mph with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 105 miles from the center. By the time it reaches Texas early Monday, it is anticipated to have re-intensified to a category 1 hurricane, though the National Weather Service has advised residents to prepare for the stronger category 2.

Olive Rowe stands in what remains of her home in St Elizabeth parish, Jamaica, on 5 July 2024. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Damage caused by strong winds in Progreso, Yucatán peninsula, Mexico, on 5 July 2024. Photograph: Hugo Borges/AFP/Getty Images

“Still some uncertainty with the exact strength and track Beryl will take, but an eastward trend in the guidance continues,” the advisory states, warning of “an increasing risk of damaging hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge”.

Beryl made landfall in Grenada’s Carriacou island as a category 4 hurricane on Monday, before hitting St Vincent and the Grenadines, flattening buildings and killing at least six people.

Managers on the private island of Mustique, also in Beryl’s path, said that “the Grenadines have been badly hit. Union Island has been rendered completely uninhabitable and thousands of men, woman and children are currently being relocated in order to give them access to shelter, food and water.”

The statement said there had been “significant superficial damage” to Mustique bit that “the island’s core infrastructure is intact” and its planes were being used to ferry supplies to worse-hit islands and assist with the evacuation of people from Union.

Residents of a shelter opened by Cachorrilandia in Cancún, Mexico, on 5 July 2024. Photograph: Paola Chiomante/Reuters
Residents receive food rations provided by Mexican army soldiers in Tulum, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on 5 July 2024. Photograph: Elizabeth Ruiz/AFP/Getty Images

The Associated Press reported that on the tiny island of Mayreau, home to 360 people and one of the smallest inhabited islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Beryl had ripped roofs off schools, crumbled homes and stripped trees of almost every leaf on the 0.46 sq miles (1.2 sq km).

“Everything was flying all over the place,” Mayreau resident James Alexander said in recalling the storm. “I saw a tank full of water lifted up and swirl in the air.”

People wait at Cancún international airport, in Cancún, Mexico, on 5 July 2024. Photograph: Paola Chiomante/Reuters

Beryl later intensified to a category 5 storm, its rapid strengthening astonishing experts. The storm passed south of Jamaica before travelling, as a category 5 storm, to hit Tulum on the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico on Friday as a category 2 hurricane.

The storm toppled trees but caused no injuries or deaths before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved across the peninsula. “It is recommendable that people get to higher ground, shelters or the homes of friends or family elsewhere,” Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said before Beryl hit.

“Don’t hesitate, material possessions can be replaced,” he added.

With Beryl again re-intensifying, the former hurricane is expected to conclude its 3,000-mile journey somewhere along the lower or middle Texas coast, where it will drop 5–10ins of rain and could produce a few tropical tornadoes around Houston.

The Guardian