Thursday, July 25, 2024

Islanders advised to remain vigilant as Hurricane Beryl approaches


Hurricane Beryl, a potentially devastating force, is expected to reach the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, late on Thursday evening, July 4th, bringing with it tropical storm-force winds. This poses a significant threat to northern Belize, including San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and Caulker. Residents are strongly advised to stay vigilant and make necessary preparations. Voluntary evacuation is recommended, and the deadline for doing so is Wednesday, July 3rd. The final water taxi to Belize City from San Pedro will depart at 3PM, and the last flight via local airlines is scheduled for 5PM.
Island residents and tourists are using terminals at the John Greif II Municipal Airport and water taxis to leave San Pedro. Similar activity is also observed in Caye Caulker, where people are trying to leave for the mainland, and visitors are returning to their home countries. These transportation services will start operating after the all-clear is given, which is expected to be sometime on Friday. All commercial banks and government offices in the Cayes closed as of mid-day on Wednesday to complete their preparedness plans.
Mayor Gualberto ‘Wally’ Nuñez encourages stakeholders and residents to take the upcoming storm seriously, as there is uncertainty about its exact landfall. He also called on residents to clear their yards and remove any loose rubbish that could become dangerous projectiles during windy conditions. Additionally, more home and business owners have secured their properties, while others believe the storm will not cause much damage to the island.

The noon update from the National Meteorological Service reported that Hurricane Beryl is still a Category 4 storm heading towards Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 140 miles per hour, moving west-northwest at 18 miles per hour. The current trajectory suggests it will make landfall on the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. Therefore, a Tropical Storm Watch is in place from Belize City to the northern Corozal District, including Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Late Thursday evening into Friday morning, there is a forecast for increased rainfall, gusty winds, and windy conditions. The impact on the Belize City area is expected to be minimal.
There is a possibility that the current Tropical Storm Watch may be upgraded to a warning later today. In the meantime, it is of utmost importance for residents in the Cayes and northern Belize to remain vigilant, monitor the weather situation, and rely only on official sources for accurate updates.

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