Watch the progress of Hurricane Beryl, which the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has described as “potentially catastrophic” with maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers per hour.

“This is the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic,” the NHC said.

Hurricane Beryl is advancing through the Caribbean and is threatening the Dominican Republic, where authorities have issued a red alert in two provinces, and Jamaica. In addition, Ideam indicated that it is expected to pass in front of the La Guajira peninsula, where the yellow alert remains in effect.

The hurricane had lost strength along its path, but strengthened again on Monday and reached Category 5, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, when it hit the island of Carriacou in Grenada on Monday.

“Within half an hour, Carriacou was devastated,” Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell told a news conference.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines were also hit by “catastrophic winds and life-threatening storm surge,” according to the Miami-based NHC, which projected that “surges are expected to reach the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola,” which include the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The Dominican Republic government has issued a red alert for the provinces of Barahona and Pedernales.

Jamaica has issued a hurricane watch ahead of the storm’s expected arrival on Wednesday, with the NHC predicting “life-threatening winds and storm surge.”

The US agency urged the Cayman Islands and several areas of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico to remain vigilant as the storm advances.

Hurricane Beryl is unusual

Beryl is the first hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from early June to late November. It is forecast to remain a strong hurricane as it moves through the Caribbean during the week.

Experts say it is unusual for such a powerful cyclone to form so early in the season.

“There have only been five major hurricanes (Category 3+) recorded in the Atlantic before the first week of July,” expert Michael Lowry wrote in X.


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