The “potentially catastrophic” Hurricane Beryl has strengthened to Category 5 in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported on Monday.

Expected to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge to Jamaica later this week,” the NHC said on its website.

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said Monday afternoon that Beryl hit the country causing “major damage” on the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, where the eye of the Category 4 hurricane entered, with maximum sustained winds of 240 kilometers per hour (150 mph).

President Joe Biden said his administration is “ready to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands” and “ensure the safety of all American citizens.”

He also explained that he is closely following the progress of the hurricane and that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “have resources and supplies ready to help the region.”

Alert in Mexico and Guatemala for Beryl

In the next few hours, Mexico expects torrential rains in the states of Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) reported on Monday.

In a statement, the SMN warned that “during tonight and early Tuesday morning, the remnants of Chris – which made landfall at midnight on Monday as a tropical storm in Veracruz – will move over central Mexico.”

These conditions, “in interaction with a low pressure channel extended over the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Mesa Central of the Mexican territory, will cause torrential rains (from 150 to 250 millimeters) [mm]) in Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Querétaro and San Luis Potosí”.

In addition to intense (75 to 150 mm) in Michoacán, Nayarit, Puebla, Tamaulipas and Veracruz, as well as very strong (50 to 75 mm) in Mexico City, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Morelos and Tlaxcala.

The agency added that there will be heavy rains in Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Sinaloa, Sonora and Zacatecas, and periods of showers in Baja California, Baja California Sur and Coahuila.

Meanwhile, the Guatemalan civil protection authorities raised the state alert on Monday due to the “approach” of Hurricane Beryl to Central America in the coming days.

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) indicated that the alert went from yellow to orangeaccording to its scale in emergency situations.

This scale specifies that a yellow alert is equivalent to prevention, while an orange alert warns of danger, second only to red, which is equivalent to the highest level of emergency.

According to the same state entity, the orange alert also means the mobilization of resources in response to a possible “emergency or disaster.”

“We are on institutional orange alert and in constant communication with mayors and departmental governors to coordinate prevention and response actions, from local to national,” said Conred.

Situation in Venezuela

As a preventive measure, the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) of Venezuela has ordered the suspension of flights to four cities in the northeast of the country due to the proximity of Hurricane Beryl, until Tuesday, July 2.

“In order to continue contributing to operational safety, preventive actions were taken such as the suspension of flights, under NOTAM C1167/24 from 07/01/24 to 07/02/24 to Porlamar, Cumaná, Carúpano and Tucupita,” the institution said in a statement published on X.

On Sunday, the National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA) suspended the departure of fishing, recreational and sports vessels until next Tuesday.

The president of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Inameh), Reidy Zambrano, recently warned that a “cyclone season” began in the country in early June, which will last until November 30.

Three tropical storms have formed so far in the Atlantic basin hurricane season, which began on June 1: Alberto, Beryl and Chris.

Chris formed Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall overnight in the town of Lechuguillas, a town in the southern Mexican state of Veracruz.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is set to be well above average, with up to 13 hurricanes possible, including up to seven major hurricanes, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


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