Hurricane Beryl hits Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

video title, Hurricane Beryl re-strengthens after making landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula

  • author, Ian Aikman
  • stock, BBC News

At least 10 people have died after Hurricane Beryl struck Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and wreaked havoc across the Caribbean.

It had gusts of 175km/h (108mph) early Friday morning.

It was later downgraded to a tropical storm, but is expected to re-intensify in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend.

Beryl brought heavy rain to the tourist areas of Cancun and Tulum. Although there was no major damage, trees were uprooted by strong winds and power was cut.

image caption, Buildings including trees and billboards were toppled due to strong winds

Civil Defense chief Laura Velasquez said power would be fully restored to those without power by Sunday.

Tulum resident Carolina Vazquez was among those affected by the outages, speaking to Reuters as she stood in line at a soup kitchen organized by the Mexican military on Friday.

“A tree fell on my little house, half the house cracked, roof tiles,” he said.

Fernando Trevino, an employee of a local business firm, said: “We are evaluating, but so far everything seems to be in order with the safeguards that have been put in place, the products and so on.”

Ahead of Beryl’s arrival, schools were closed, hotel windows boarded up, and emergency shelters set up in areas bearing the brunt of the impact.

More than 8,000 troops from the Army, Air Force and National Guard were stationed on the Yucatan Peninsula to provide support.

Hundreds of tourists were evacuated from hotels and more than 3,000 fled the beach to Holbox Island, local officials said.

More than 300 flights were canceled or delayed.

image caption, Many flights were canceled or delayed due to the storm

On Thursday, many homes and businesses in the Cayman Islands were badly damaged, especially along the coast, and entire neighborhoods were flooded.

Hurricanes are frequent near the peninsula, and the official hurricane season runs from June to late November.

Where will Hurricane Beryl go next?

The storm is expected to move across the Gulf of Mexico and toward northeastern Mexico and southern Texas by the end of the week.

By the time it makes landfall again on Sunday evening, the storm is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told people along the state’s Gulf Coast to “have an emergency plan in place to take care of yourself and your loved ones.”

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that the North Atlantic could receive seven major hurricanes this year – an average of three per season.

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