Hurricane Beryl makes landfall on Yucatan Peninsula as Category 2 storm

Written by on July 5, 2024

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Beryl made landfall northeast of the resort town of Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 2 storm early Friday.

Beryl was packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph when it came ashore, weakening to 100 mph an hour after landfall.

The hurricane hit Mexico after it left flooding and widespread damage on the island of Jamaica late Wednesday. Beryl’s center passed just 45 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica, as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph.

Beryl was the first major hurricane — at least a Category 3 — to pass this close to Jamaica since 2007.

The hurricane passed just south of the Cayman Islands Thursday morning, bringing hurricane-force winds and a storm surge that was forecast to possibly produce a water rise of 4 to 6 feet and half a foot of rain.

Beryl is forecast to continue its weakening trend as it crosses the Yucatan.

In Tulum, a mandatory curfew went into effect Thursday at 4 p.m. local time due to the storm.

By Friday evening, Beryl should cross into the southern Gulf of Mexico and weaken into a tropical storm.

As Beryl moves over the Gulf, in the direction of the U.S.-Mexico border, it could re-intensify back into a hurricane, with winds near 75 mph ahead of making landfall sometime Monday morning. Right now, it’s too soon to tell exactly where it will make landfall along the Gulf Coast, but models are currently predicting just south of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Regardless of Beryl’s strength, it is expected to bring heavy rain to southern Texas and could produce coastal flooding on the Texas Gulf Coast, from Galveston to South Padre Island, and the Florida Panhandle.

In addition, the prolonged period of onshore winds along the U.S. Gulf Coast could create rough beach conditions, including a risk for rip currents this holiday weekend.

Jamaica assessing damage

Damage has been reported primarily in southwestern Jamaica after Beryl battered the island, officials said.

“Jamaica was spared the worst of Hurricane Beryl, but the damages are still significant,” Prime Minister Andrew Holness said on social media.

About half of the island is still without power as of Thursday evening, according to a government official.

Jamaica Public Service said teams are conducting remote assessments and waiting for an all-clear from emergency management to conduct ground assessments and begin the restoration process.

One of the main cell providers in Jamaica — Digicel — has been down since the overnight hours and is working on network restoration.

The island’s three major airports closed on Tuesday as the storm approached, stranding travelers. Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett told ABC News Thursday that power outages have impacted the airports but that all three will be fully operational on Friday.

Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay reopened to customers at 6 p.m. local time Thursday. Guards at the airport told ABC News that the facility sustained some damage from the storm.

Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston had said it planned to reopen Friday at 5 a.m. local time. It saw some minor damage from the storm, including a small section of the roof of the passenger boarding pier that blew off.

Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios was also planning to reopen on Friday, according to Bartlett.

ABC News’ Faith Abubey contributed to this report.

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