Hurricane Beryl: Jamaica assessing impact as storm heads towards Cayman Islands, Yucatan

Jamaica is assessing the impact of Hurricane Beryl today as the storm slammed into the island’s south coast yesterday (July 3) bringing heavy rains, concerns about flash flooding and knocking out power.

In an update from Sandals Resorts International (see more from SRI below), the company adivsed that: “Hurricane Beryl has now passed Jamaica and all guests and resort teams deserve tremendous praise for their preparations and efforts to stay safe. This morning the teams continue to focus on ensuring the ongoing safety of guests and resort operations and are currently conducting their safety checks and assessments across the various resorts.  We will be able to provide more updates when that process has been fully completed.”

For more on Hurricane Beryl’s impact on Jamaica, check out the Jamaica Gleaner’s coverage at .

NHC latest advisory

In its advisory for July 4, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warns of “strong winds, dangerous storm surge, damaging waves and areas of flooding are expected to occur in the Cayman Islands today where a Hurricane Warning remains in effect.”

The advisory continues: “Hurricane force winds, dangerous storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected over portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize beginning tonight as Beryl approaches that area as a hurricane. Hurricane and Tropical Warnings are now in effect for portions of that area.”

Looking ahead, the NHC said: “There remains uncertainty in the track and intensity forecast of Beryl over the western Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Interests in eastern Mexico and southern Texas should monitor the progress of Beryl. Regardless of the exact track, rip currents could cause life-threatening beach conditions beginning late Friday and continuing through the weekend across much of the Gulf coast.

[Graphic map image courtesy of NHC]

Sandals Foundation takes the initiative

In a statement released yesterday, Sandals Resorts International said that “ensuring the safety of our guests and our team members is our highest priority. Our operations team alongside each local resort team remain in close communication and follow all developing weather events, reviewing the latest information and recommendations from authorities and evolving our plans as necessary.”

SRI’s statement continued: “As it relates to Hurricane Beryl, we are happy to report that guests in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are safe, in great spirits and enjoying the resorts. We continue to monitor the situation as the storm continues to move through the Caribbean, and have made the appropriate preparations at all of our resorts in Jamaica.”

As well, SRI said that: “The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International, has set up a ‘Disaster Relief’ initiative with one hundred percent (100%) of every dollar going directly to the organization’s Caribbean Emergency Response Efforts, activated immediately after Hurricane Beryl’s impact on St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and, most recently, Jamaica. Working hand-in-hand with on-the-ground officials across the islands, rebuilding efforts will focus on schools and health facilities that serve the general public – in addition to the distribution of life-sustaining supplies.”

To make a donation, go to and select ‘Disaster Relief’.

Grenada update

Sekou Stroude, director of sales, Canada for the Grenada Tourism Authority, advises that Grenada “thankfully largely escaped the effects of hurricane Beryl and the Maurice Bishop International Airport has reopened. The major airlines have already announced the return of their scheduled flights and hotels have also reported that they are fully operational.”

But Stroude continued: “We’re deeply saddened by the widespread damage, and news of fatalities, on our sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We are working closely with the emergency services to ensure support and relief efforts are in place as soon as possible, as well as the restoration of vital services.

Our focus remains on ensuring the safety and welfare of those affected by the hurricane and our heartfelt sympathies go out to family and friends at this difficult time.”

Barbados spared major impact

“Thank you for your support as we faced Hurricane Beryl on Monday. We are relieved to report that Barbados was spared the major impact of the hurricane, with some damage isolated to the southwest shores,” Eusi Skeete, Director Canada, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and Team Barbados offer in an update on the situation on the island.

The update continues:

“As we continue our audit, the majority of hotels and visitor accommodations are not reporting any significant damage as of today. Our internal audit will continue over the next 24 hours.”

“The Grantley Adams International Airport was also spared and reopened this morning to international flights. We encourage you to check directly with the airlines for rescheduling information.”

“There was minimal infrastructure damage to the cruise terminal at the Bridgetown Port. The focus is on removal of marine debris transferred during the event. Clean up crews are on a 24 hour shift to clear the debris by Thursday.”

“We appreciate the support of our partners at this time and extend our thoughts to the other Caribbean islands who were more severely impacted by the hurricane.”

“Our BTMI offices around the world remain available to answer any questions you may have.”

Stay Strong, Be Prepared

As Hurricane Beryl continues to barrel through the Caribbean, the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Kenneth Bryan is calling on all Caribbean people to continue exercising vigilance during this hurricane season by preparing for storms, while also being ready to respond and recover swiftly.

Bryan said: “Even as we protect life and property here in the western Caribbean, we stand in solidarity with the people of St. Vincent and the islands of the Grenadines who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Beryl.”

Bryan, the Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands, continued: “Their pain is our pain, and their struggles are felt across our entire region,” said the CTO Chairman, who noted that “when one member of our Caribbean family is affected, we all feel the impact. But together, we must unite and support each other through these challenging times.”

The CTO is committed to working closely with relief organizations to ensure a coordinated and effective response to hurricane impacts.

The CTO’s Chairman said that: “We recognize the critical importance of preparedness. As hurricanes become more frequent and intense due to climate change, we urge all residents and businesses to take necessary precautions. Secure your homes, stock up on essential supplies, and have a clear plan in place. At the same time, we must be ready to support our neighbors and contribute to swift recovery efforts.”

And he pointed out that: “Climate change poses a significant threat to our region, and we must be proactive in our response. This hurricane season, let us demonstrate the strength of our Caribbean spirit by preparing diligently and standing in solidarity. Our collective efforts will make a difference and ensure that we emerge stronger and more resilient.”

Chairman Bryan also called on the international community to assist the region with rebuilding infrastructure, restoring essential services, and helping communities get back on their feet.

Said Bryan: “We contribute the least to and suffer the most from the changing climate, so we need the global community to help provide resources for improved building standards, better communication systems, and more resilient infrastructure to mitigate future hurricane impacts.”