Hurricane Beryl in Jamaica: Street Party, Tourists ok, Minister Resilient

Hurricane Jamaica
Source: X

Jamaica’s tourism minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett told eTurboNews while observing the storm from his living room window, that he didn’t want to comment on the storm until it was all over, but confirmed Jamaica was spared the eye of Hurricane Beryl.

Minister Bartlett sounded tired, but also relieved and carefully optimistic, expecting airports and tourism activities may reopen on Friday. He cautioned however it’s not over until it’s over, and “we still know very little yet.”

Minister Bartlett is known for his passion and work in global tourism resilience. It appears Jamaica once more showed optimism and resilience after being only sidelined by this dangerous and deadly category 4 strong hurricane.

Minister Bartlett also voiced his concern for “our brothers” in the Cayman Islands, and other regions in the path of Hurricane Beryl.

The Cayman Islands is a three-island 264 sq km group and flat. Storm surges could have the potential to flood much of this British Overseas Territory with devastating consequences.

Jamaica-based Sharon Parris-Chambers, Ambassador for the State of African Diaspora told eTN:

Hurricane Beryl pelts Lucea Hanover community with Hurricane force winds and showers as I observe from my balcony. Today is not business as usual. Pray, meditate, and enjoy the dance of Hurricane winds swiftly passing over the island and heading for Grand Cayman. Pray for those in Beryl’s path.

Hurricane Beryl was described as “the strongest and most dangerous hurricane threat that Jamaica has faced, probably, in decades.”

Prime Minister Andrew Holness ordered a curfew and lifted it early at 6 pm today, while Kingston was experiencing the most intense wind and rain it has all day from Hurricane Beryl. 65% of the island is without power, and JPS crews wait for the storm to pass by before restoring electricity.

This did not stop residents on East Queen Street in downtown Kingston turning the storm into an impromptu party, dancing and gyrating on each other in Kingston’s streets.

An American tourist tweeted: Awesome! We are in Montego Bay, Jamaica going through Hurricane Beryl right now.. but we are okay. Stuck here on vacation and couldn’t get a flight out. The worst of the storm is going well southwest of us.

Myrtle Beach resident Kathy Dolan is with her family in Montego Bay on the north coast of #Jamaica, well outside the eyewall. It’s a bit windy, with rain bands moving through, but nothing horrible. The highest gust I’ve seen there so far is 55 mph.

A visitor tweeted: “I’m following the hurricane on TikTok via the people stuck in Jamaica and it’s crazy to see how resorts are handling this so differently. I’ve learned that Sandals is it and RIU is not!

It does appear however the electricity at Sandals Resort in Negril may be down. A concerned tweet from the U.S. appeals: “Looking for info on the Sandals resort on Negril. Our daughter & son in law are there. Desperately trying to get info. Please help me reach anyone who may be there. We lost contact with her an hour ago.”

Hurricane Beryl has battered Jamaica throughout the day, but is now pulling away and will be near the Cayman Islands early Thursday morning. The wind shear and land interaction will help to weaken the storm over the next few days before entering the Gulf.

A 20-year-old man, known as ‘Lala’, was washed into a gully in Havana in Arnett Gardens, St Andrew, (Jamaica) this afternoon during rains associated with Hurricane Beryl. Members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade and the Jamaica Defence Force are searching for him.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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