Hurricane Beryl: Flash floods warning after Hurricane Beryl hits Jamaica

By Alex Smith, BBC News

grey placeholderGetty Images Floodwater rages through street with buildings in the backgroundGetty Images

A flash flood warning remains in place after heavy rains hit the island

People in Jamaica are assessing the damage after Hurricane Beryl hit the southern coast of the Caribbean island.

The category four storm – one of the most powerful to ever hit the country – brought winds of up to 130mph (215km/h) to Jamaica’s south coast.

Overnight Prime Minister Andrew Holness extended an island-wide curfew to 06:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Thursday, with a flash flood warning also in effect.

Beryl has now weakened to a category three storm, and is rolling towards the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reports.

The BBC’s Nick Davis, who is in Jamaica’s capital Kingston, says the island has been “spared the worst of the winds”, and the real concern for residents is the wet weather, with it “raining solidly for about 12 hours”.

Some farmland has been flooded, he said, causing a problem in an area where “regulation is sparse”.

One resident of a rural farming community told the Reuters news agency: “It’s terrible. Everything’s gone. I’m in my house and I’m scared.”

“It’s a disaster,” said Amoy Wellington, who lives in the southern parish of St Elizabeth.

Late on Wednesday night, Jamaica’s meteorological service cancelled its hurricane warning and replaced it with the flash flood warning.

It warned that continuing periods of rainfall could “result in flash flooding over low-lying and flood-prone areas of the island”.

grey placeholderReuters Man in bright pink jumper and shorts wades through flooded streetReuters

More than 400,000 people were without power on Thursday morning, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, JPS said it was forced to pause the restoration of power lines in some locations, because of safety concerns for its workers.

The lack of light means locals are just “trying to really work out how bad the damage has actually been”, our correspondent said.

And only when daylight comes, will “we we get a real idea of how much damage has happened”.

The prime minister has urged residents to “take all necessary steps for your safety and the protection of your property”.

In a post on X, Mr Holness thanked “first responders, essential services, security forces and good Samaritans who have assisted others in this time of crisis”.

“This storm will pass, and we will recover,” he said.

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