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Hurricane Bery updatel: Travel advice as ‘life-threatening’ storm hits Texas

Simon Calder’s Travel

“We have never seen such a strong hurricane this early in the season” – so says Colin McCarthy, an extreme weather scientist, about Hurricane Beryl.

The first major storm of the season brought 140mph winds and continuous rain, causing severe damage in many Caribbean islands: flattening buildings, cutting off power and water, and costing 10 lives.

The hurricane battered Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and swept across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It weakened to a tropical storm temporarily, but has now regained hurricane strength as it makes landfall in Texas and western Louisiana.

Follow latest updates on Hurricane Beryl as Category 1 storm makes landfall in Texas

At 4am UK time on Monday morning, the US National Hurricane Center warned: “Data from the National Weather Service Doppler radar near Houston, Texas, and reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Beryl’s maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h).

“Based on these data, Beryl is upgraded to a hurricane. Additional strengthening is expected before landfall on the Texas coast.

The UK Foreign Office has said people should “follow and monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Center and follow the advice of local authorities including any evacuation orders.”

The storm has struck at a time of year when many travellers are visiting the region. These are the key questions and answers.

What are the effects so far?

The worst damage appears to be in the small islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which are part of Grenada. Carriacou was left “flattened” with more than 98 per cent of the buildings, including the main health facility and airport, damaged.

“We have to rebuild from the ground up,” said Grenada’s prime minister, Dickon Mitchell, after visiting the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Two of the three deaths in Grenada were recorded on Carriacou. “The possibility there may be more fatalities remains a grim reality as movement is still highly restricted,” Mr Mitchell said.

St Vincent and the Grenadines was also badly hit. The prime minister, Ralph Gonsalves, said: “On one island in the Grenadines archipelago, the Union Island, 90 per cent of homes have been severely damaged or destroyed.”

The impact in Jamaica was devastating. About two-thirds…

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