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Posted: Sunday 30 June, 2024 at 3:17 PM

Hurricane Beryl forces postponement of CARICOM Heads Meeting

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- THE region’s leaders have been forced to postpone the Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government of CARICOM, originally slated for Grenada.


    In its updated statement today (June 30), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) advised that, “as a result of Hurricane Beryl’s impending passage through the Region, the 47th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, scheduled for Grenada from July 3-5, has been postponed to a date to be determined.”


    Hurricane Beryl was upgraded on Sunday (Jun.30) to a major Category 4 hurricane, packing winds upwards of 125 mph and prompting Hurricane Warnings, as well as Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings for territories in the Windward Islands.


    The CARICOM Secretariat stated that the primary focus of the Community is “now on citizen safety and security.”


    “Several Member States, including host nation Grenada, are now engaged in emergency preparations and planning to address the aftermath of the hurricane,” the statement read.


    The region has been on high alert, with a large number of storms predicted by forecasters. They estimate approximately 17-25 named storms for the season.


    “We implore everyone in the path of this hurricane to take all necessary protective measures. The Community stands ready to support our Member States which will be affected by this dangerous hurricane,” the statement added.


    The National Hurricane Center disclosed that Hurricane Beryl has a forward speed of 21 mph. On its current forecast track, the center is expected to move across the Windward Islands on Monday morning and across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea late Monday through Wednesday.


    Additionally, there are concerns about life-threatening storm surges, with water levels expected to rise as much as 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas onshore near where the eye makes landfall in the hurricane warning area.


    Meanwhile, forecasters at NHC are expecting the hurricane to produce rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches across Barbados and the Windward Islands through Monday.


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