Hurricane Beryl hits Jamaica’s southern coast

Fishermen play dominoes after pulling their boats out of the water to protect them from Hurricane Beryl in Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, July 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Collin Reid)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Hurricane Beryl roared by Jamaica Wednesday, bringing fierce winds and heavy rain after the powerful Category 4 storm caused significant damage in the southeast Caribbean.

The hurrican’s eye wall brushed by Jamaica’s southern coast on Wednesday afternoon while on Thursday morning, telephone poles and trees were blocking the roadways in Kingston. Authorities confirmed a young man died on Wednesday after he was swept into a storm water drain while trying to retrieve a ball. A woman also died after a house collapsed on her.


Residents took advantage of a break in the rain to begin clearing debris.

Sixty percent of the island remained without electricity, along with a lack of water and limited telecommunications. Government officials were assessing the damage, but it was hampered by the lack of communication, mainly in southern parishes that suffered the most damage.

Some 1,432 people remained in shelters in Jamaica, like Desrine Campbell, a resident of the low-lying community of Old Harbour Bay, who wailed, “My house is almost flooded!”

Nearby, Carlton Golding said ruefully, “I lost everything this time.” Golding’s house was totally destroyed by the hurricane, the second time that he has suffered damage from storms.

In the south-central parish of Clarendon, residents attempted to mend damaged roofs and clear downed trees. Many roadways in the area remained partially blocked from downed electricity and telecommunication poles.

After leaving a trail of destruction across the eastern Caribbean and at least nine people dead, Hurricane Beryl strengthened back into a Category 3 storm late Thursday as it chugged over open water toward Mexico’s resort-studded Yucatan Peninsula.