Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Hurricane Beryl makes landfall as a Category 2 storm in Tulum

Hurricane Beryl made landfall as a Category 2 storm near Tulum, Quintana Roo, early Friday, Mexican authorities said.

No loss of life or hurricane-related injuries had been reported in Mexico by 10 a.m. Mexico City time.

Hurricane Beryl has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm since making landfall, but poses a high risk of storm surge in northeast Yucatán.
Hurricane Beryl has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm since making landfall but poses a high risk of storm surge in northeast Yucatán. (Mara Lezama/X)

The National Meteorological Service (SMN) said that Hurricane Beryl came ashore at 5:05 a.m. north of Tulum. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h and gusts of up to 220 km/h, the SMN said.

At 9 a.m. Mexico City time, the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported that Beryl was 160 kilometers east-southeast of Progreso, Yucatán, and weakening as it moved further inland over the northeastern Yucatán Peninsula.

However, the NHC warned that dangerous hurricane-force winds, a storm surge and “damaging waves” were “expected over portions of this area for a few more hours.”

Beryl’s maximum sustained winds at 9 a.m. were 140 km/h, making it a Category 1 hurricane. It is moving northwestward at approximately 26 km/hr, the NHC said.

The hurricane is projected to pass north of Mérida later on Friday, with the towns of Motul and Progreso on or near the forecast path. A red “maximum hazard” alert was activated for the entire state of Yucatán.

On Friday night, Beryl is forecast to enter the Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to regain strength.

“Beryl is expected to emerge over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico tonight and then move northwestward toward northeastern Mexico and southern Texas by the end of the weekend,” the NHC said.

Quintana Roo Governor Mara Lezama said on X at 9:15 a.m. that no loss or life or major damage had been reported in the Caribbean coast state.

Social media users and journalists shared videos on the social platform X as the storm approached the Carribbean coast. (X)

At President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s morning press conference, National Civil Protection Chief Laura Velázquez also said that no deaths or injuries had been reported. However, she stressed that the information was “preliminary.”

Lezama said that authorities were commencing “the assistance phase” and preparing “to go out to help the people who need help.”

More than 8,000 soldiers, Air Force members and National Guard personnel were deployed to respond to the hurricane.

Lezama said that winds brought by Beryl had downed trees, utility poles and “some structures.”

Some flooding has also been reported.

Tulum and Felipe Carillo Puerto were among the worst affected municipalities in Quintana Roo. Blackouts have been reported in parts of the state, including in Tulum and on the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.

More than 2,000 Quintana Roo residents went to temporary shelters well before Beryl made landfall.

The SMN said that Beryl would cause “torrential” rainfall of 150-250 mm in the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatán and Campeche, and “intense” rainfall of 75-150 mm in Chiapas and Tabasco. It also warned of the risk of lightning, strong winds and high seas.

“Due to the risk of landslides, flooding and the rising of rivers in Chiapas and Tabasco, the public is advised to take precautions,” the SMN said.

Beryl is the second named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, and became the first Category 5 storm ever to form in the Atlantic Ocean in the month of June.

It made landfall Monday on Carriacou, a small island that is part of the country of Grenada. The hurricane has claimed at least seven lives in Venezuela and Caribbean nations.

Beryl is the third named Atlantic storm to affect Mexico this hurricane season.

Tropical Storm Alberto brought torrential rains across large swaths of the Yucatán Peninsula and northeastern Mexico in June, while Tropical Storm Chris made landfall in the municipality of Vega de Alatorre, Veracruz, earlier this week.

With reports from N+, Reforma and El Universal 

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