Hurricane Beryl wreaks havoc in the Caribbean

Hurricane Beryl wreaks havoc in the Caribbean

Islands in the eastern Caribbean are feeling the full effects of the Hurricane Beryl – the first Category 5 storm to ever form in the Atlantic.

Carriacou in Grenada was the first to be hit, with sustained winds up to 160mph. 

The US National Hurricane Center cited Barbados, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as those most at risk.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, approximately 1,752 people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are currently in 71 public hurricane shelters. The government’s latest series of weather advisories reported “large and destructive waves” and “swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.”

Brits staying in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Dominica should monitor local and international weather updates, advised the Foreign Office.

Virgin Atlantic has cancelled flights to Barbados and connecting flights to Saint Vincent. American Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways and Delta Air Lines have also cancelled flights using Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport.

Those in Haiti, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and the remainder of the northwestern Caribbean “should monitor its progress” with additional watches and warnings likely in the coming week.

Jamaica fell victim to the storm yesterday (Wednesday 3 July) with hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation Kenneth Bryan has called on the international community to help rebuild infrastructure, restore essential services and help residents get back on their feet. 

He said: “Even as we protect life and property here in the western Caribbean, we stand in solidarity with the people of Saint Vincent and the islands of the Grenadines who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Beryl. Their pain is our pain and their struggles are felt across our entire region.

“We recognise the critical importance of preparedness. As hurricanes become more frequent and intense due to climate change, we urge all residents and businesses to take necessary precautions. Secure your homes, stock up on essential supplies and have a clear plan in place. At the same time, we must be ready to support our neighbours and contribute to swift recovery efforts.” 

Saint Lucia, meanwhile, has been given the ‘All Clear’ by the National Emergency Management Organisation.

The Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association will continue to welcome guests. Its hotel partners have “fared well” and guests are “safe within their respective accommodations.”

The road network has been deemed safe to use and the electricity grid remains intact. There are no reports of interruptions to the water supply.

Following assessment, Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport and George F L Charles Airport are resuming operations as normal.

Passengers are encouraged to check in three hours prior to departure. Travellers without a reservation should contact airlines before proceeding to airports.

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