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Hurricane Beryl leaves island completely flattened after tearing through Caribbean

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Category 4 Hurricane Beryl roared through the Caribbean earlier this week, killing at least six people and causing immense destruction.

The storm is headed towards Jamaica after moving through Grenada, Venezuela, and St Lucia.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Haiti’s southern coast and the Yucatan’s east coast. Belize issued a tropical storm watch stretching south from its border with Mexico to Belize City.

Beryl is expected to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge to Jamaica, where officials warned residents in flood-prone areas to prepare for evacuation.

In Miami, National Hurricane Centre director Michael Brennan said Jamaica appears to be in the direct path of Beryl.

In a briefing, he said: ‘We are most concerned about Jamaica, where we are expecting the core of a major hurricane to pass near or over the island. You want to be in a safe place where you can ride out the storm by nightfall (Tuesday). Be prepared to stay in that location through Wednesday.’

The sea wall in Santo Domingo was no match for the massive waves (Picture: AP)
The sea wall in Santo Domingo was no match for the massive waves (Picture: AP)
Bridgetown, Barbados, saw heavy damages both onshore and in the harbour (Picture: AP)
Bridgetown, Barbados, saw heavy damages both onshore and in the harbour (Picture: AP)
The Dominican Republic was rocked by waves (Picture: EPA)
The Dominican Republic was rocked by waves (Picture: EPA)

Rescue crews in south-eastern islands have begun inspecting the extent of the damage Beryl inflicted on Carriacou, an island in Grenada.

Three people were reported killed in Grenada and Carriacou and another in St Vincent and the Grenadines, officials said.

Two other deaths were reported in northern Venezuela, where five people are missing, officials said. Some 25,000 people in that area also were affected by heavy rainfall from Beryl.

Kerryne James, the environment minister said Carriacou and Petit Martinique sustained the greatest damage, with scores of homes and businesses flattened in Carriacou.

Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said on Tuesday: ‘The situation is grim. There is no power, and there is almost complete destruction of homes and buildings on the island.

Evacuees from Union Island have arrived in Kingstown (Picture: AP)
Evacuees from Union Island have arrived in Kingstown (Picture: AP)
Saint Patrick, Grenada, has seen heavy damages (Picture: Reuters)
Saint Patrick, Grenada, has seen heavy damages (Picture: Reuters)
Boats in Barbados have been heavily damaged (Picture: AP)
Boats in Barbados have been heavily damaged (Picture: AP)

‘The roads are not passable, and in many instances, they are cut off because of the large quantity of debris strewn all over the streets.’

Mr Mitchell added: ‘The possibility that there may be more fatalities remains a grim reality as movement is still highly restricted.’

Ralph Gonsalves, prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, noted that 90% of homes on Union Island were destroyed, and that ‘similar levels of devastation’ were expected on the islands of Myreau and Canouan.

The last strong hurricane to hit the southeast Caribbean was Hurricane Ivan 20 years ago, which killed dozens of people in Grenada.

Hundreds of people hunkered in shelters across the south-east Caribbean, including 50 adults and 20 children who huddled inside a school in Grenada.

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