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The Tale Of 
Hurricane Beryl In Jamaica 

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hurricane_beryl_jamaica_2024_update.pngHurricane Beryl In Jamaica

By Venesha Johnson & Wellesley Gayle

Latest Updates👇

(In Chronological order - descending | All times are in Jamaica time)

July 12, 2024 |  6:00pm | On June 9, the Prime Minister Of Jamaica announced the Hurricane Beryl Relief website. Persons wishing to support are asked to visit https://disasterfund.opm.gov.jm.

In addition to accepting donations, this portal will also provide the latest statistics as well as updates on the relief and restoration efforts. Therefore, we are recommending that you visit that website to get the very latest going forward. Thank you again for following us on this journey

The website (again) is https://disasterfund.opm.gov.jm. Join in our recovery

New! Watch Video: Impact Of Hurricane Beryl In Jamaica👇

July 11, 2024 |  4:25pmThe Jamaica Public Service Company reported that power has been restored to 90 per cent of its customers island wide. That figure represents some 612,000 of its total customer base of 692,000.

The light and power company says across the fourteen parishes it has identified some areas that will be of priority over the next 24 to 48 hours.

jamaica_public_service_electricity_working

July 9, 2024 |  5:00pm | In his presentation in the House Of Representatives, among other things, the Prime Minister indicated the following, based on early assessments:

  • In terms of infrastructure, several roads, bridges and essential public facilities suffered severed damage. According to the NWA, he said,  over 500 roads were impacted. the damage is 10.25 billion dollars. Over 500 parochial roads have been affected in various degrees and according the NWA the 200 or so corridors that were blocked have been cleared to at least to single lane.  
  • He also reported that 38% of public hospitals sustained damaged - mainly roof, estimated at 1.8 billion Jamaican dollars.
  • He promised that the government will have to find ways to help affected industries and individuals, including agriculture and fisheries.
  • He extended condolences to the families of those who perished in the storm, which at this time counts at three (3), one person in Hanover, one person in St. James (Adelphi) and one in St. Andrew (south).
  • 275 of the close to 975 shelters in Jamaica were activated, and 156 of them were still opened at this time.
  • He reported that each constituency will be allocated $4 million to help with restoration efforts. He further informed that an additional $3 million will be given to constituencies which were hardest hit, based on assessments by the various agencies (JPS, NWA) etc.
  • In terms of Telecommunication, mobile and internet have largely been restored to urban center and are working on the rural areas. At July 8,  Flow's population coverage was at 81%, and Digicel was 85%, he reported.
  • He announced the launch of the disaster relief effort website, https://disasterfund.opm.gov.jm/, where persons can support the national relief efforts.

July 8, 2024 |  5:00pm | According to RJR news, the Agriculture minister reported that Jamaica has lost over a billion dollars to the sector. The JPS also reported that 83% of impacted persons have got electricity restored, while NWA reported that 94% of roads impacted by Hurricane Beryl has reopened. And tourism stakeholders will love this:👉 local hoteliers have also reported no major damage to infrastructure.

July 6, 2024 |  6:00pm | For some persons, Beryl was punishing! We published a special YouTube episode, called ' The Morning After' where we visited several communities and highlighted the impact of the hurricane. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsXxWgxUrxo

July 6, 2024 | 9:30am | JPS published a listing of all the areas by Parish that are already restored. We note however that in addition to the fact the most communities in Jamaica are still out, there are some parishes that doesn't have any electricity at all. These include Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover and St. Ann. (Please see below 👇 )

jps_hurricane_beryl_restoration_list_july_6_2024

July 4, 2024 |  4:59pm | The Met Service reported that we have already seen the worst of Beryl and noted that mopping up operations have started. This was the last update they will provide on this weather system.


Meanwhile RJR news reported that three persons have confirmed dead from separate issues related to the hurricane. The south coast was said to be hardest hid and initial reports are that various sectors, including agriculture have suffered millions in damage.

July 3, 2024 | 11:00pm | The Met Serice issued BULLETIN No: 21: Hurricane Warning Discontinued but flash flood watch now in effect for the entire island

July 3, 2024 | 8:00pm |  The Met Service issued BULLETIN No: 20: #HurricaneBeryl about to begin moving away from Jamaica. Hurricane Warning still in effect.

July 3, 2024 | 7:00pm |  Most of Jamaica by now was impacted by the Hurricane which was moving swiftly. The MET service confirmed that it, thankfully, did not make landfall but drifted south of the island, notwithstanding the fact that it caused major damage and displacement.

July 3, 2024 | 5:00pm | 
Section of Jamaica started feeling the impact of Hurricane Beryl. Residents in several parishes have reported loss of power supply and internet connectivity.

July 3, 2024 | 8:00am | 
At 8:00am Jamaica time, the center of Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 16.9 North, longitude 75.3 West. The hurricane is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph (35 km/h), and this general motion should continue through today, followed by a turn more toward the west tonight or Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl is expected to be passing near or over Jamaica's southern coastline, from east to west between 10:00am and 8:00pm today.

July 2, 2024 | 10:00pm |  At 10:00pm Jamaica time, the center of Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 16.2 North, longitude 72.7 West. The hurricane is moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph (35 km/h), and this general motion should continue through Wednesday, followed by a turn more toward the west Wednesday night or Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will move rapidly across the central Caribbean Sea tonight and is forecasted to pass over or near Jamaica on Wednesday.

July 2, 2024: 7:00pm | Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared the entire island a disaster area for the next seven days as Jamaica braces for Hurricane Beryl. An island wide curfew will be in effect between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday. Holness made the announcement in a national broadcast Tuesday.

An evacuation order is also in effect for flood-prone and low-lying areas of Jamaica. Holness urged Jamaicans to cooperate with notices for evacuation when they are issued.

The PM also announced an allocation of $5 million for each of the 63 constituencies for emergency response.

July 1, 2024 The Government of Jamaica issued a Hurricane Watch for the island at 10:00 this morning. This means that conditions associated with a hurricane were possible within 48 hours.

The Met Service reported that #HurricaneBeryl entered the eastern Caribbean and Jamaica is was at threat of impact by the Wednesday this week.

hurricane_beryl_jamaica_2024_update.pngHurricane Beryl In Jamaica

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The Background

For almost 20 years, Jamaica has gone pretty much unscathed from the impact of Hurricane. Our last impactful encounter was in 2004 when the bands of hurricane Ivan hit us as a category 4, leaving us over $360 million in damages, 18,000 homeless people and mourning the loss of 17 loved ones. A total catastrophe. This is what has me shivering in my boots for the impending impact of Hurricane Beryl which is heading straight to us as a powerful category 4!

It is very rare, almost unheard of for Jamaica to experience impactful hurricanes so early on in the hurricane season. What makes Beryl so terrifying though, is how fast it is moving and the rate at which it is picking up strength.

According to the CNN Weather report, With the world warming as a result of human-caused climate change, Beryl's fast-rising power and early arrival are extremely unusual for the Atlantic hurricane season and are a concerning sign that this season will be far from normal.

Already, the storm has broken a number of records. Sunday saw the earliest major hurricane to reach Category 4 rank in June and the first in the Atlantic in 58 years. Major hurricanes are defined as ones that are classified as Category 3 or higher. Data from NOAA dating back to 1851 indicates that it is also the strongest hurricane ever recorded to cross through the southern Windward Islands, which are located near the eastern tip of the Caribbean Sea.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Carriacou, part of Grenada, on Monday, July 1st, 2024. According to Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, "In half an hour, Carriacou was flattened". Since hitting landfall several countries have been impacted. Thousands are still without power or are staying in temporary shelters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and St. Lucia and 6 casualties has been reported thus far.

Because Jamaica has been lucky over the past few years to have hurricanes that were predicted to hit us divert and change paths, despite the warnings it took a while for locals to kick things in gear for hurricane preparation. With the impact and damages done to other islands circulating on social media, and no changes in direction in regard to its impact on Jamaica, it became evident that the possibility of this one hitting us is very likely.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness called on Jamaicans to prepare for Hurricane Beryl, which prompted a hurricane watch on July 1. Emphasizing the importance of readiness, Holness highlighted the need for mental preparedness and assured that the Disaster Risk Management Act would guide the response. He reassured the availability of resources to manage the storm's impact and urged citizens to follow updates from credible sources like the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie confirmed that shelters are on standby, while Meteorological Service Director Evan Thompson noted the hurricane's fluctuating strength. Various agencies, including the NWA, NWC, and JDF, were present at the briefing.

This year’s hurricane season is shaping up to be particularly active, with Beryl being the second named Hurricane thus far, and the seasoned has just began. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlook from May predicted between eight and thirteen hurricanes, signaling an "extraordinary" season ahead.

Climate change is exacerbating the situation by creating more destructive hurricanes. A warmer atmosphere can retain more moisture, resulting in storms that produce heavier rainfall. This increased precipitation can lead to catastrophic flooding, heightening the risk and potential damage associated with these storms.

From here, we started tracking the latest updates👆

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References & Sources For Hurricane Beryl In Jamaica

  1. Centre of Tropical Storm Beryl could pass 150 miles from Jamaica’s coastline but prepare for the worst — Met Service. (2024, June 29). Jamaica Observer. https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/2024/06/29/centre-tropical-storm-beryl-pass-150-miles-jamaicas-coastline-prepare-worst-met-service/
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