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Beryl hit Windwards hardest

Regional 08 Jul, 2024 Follow News

Carriacou was badly hit by Beryl

Grenada PM Dickon Mitchell is grateful for help

Union Island was flattened in parts

Grenada’s agricultural lands were battered

The extensive damage wrought by Hurricane Beryl’s trek across the Windward Islands last week, revealed mass destruction and at least ten deaths.

At least three islands reported more than 90 percent of the homes and buildings either destroyed or severely damaged, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency announced. All three are within the chain of Grenadine Islands, where Beryl roared into the Caribbean on the southern end of the Windwards, between St Vincent and Grenada.

Beryl swept across the Eastern Caribbean before moving across Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Belize. The eye of Beryl, still a Category 4 storm, raked Jamaica’s coast Wednesday afternoon and, thankfully, did little damage in the Cayman Islands Thursday morning, before making landfall in the Yucatan on Friday morning.

The damage estimates for the Windwards, where Beryl made landfall over Carriacou, struck the island with sustained winds of 150mph and higher gusts on Monday, and the National Hurricane Centre warned that winds could be up to 30 percent higher on the tops of hills and mountains.

The impacts to the Grenadine Islands was considerable, leaving residents exposed and vulnerable. Even as recovery efforts began, a tropical wave brought rain and gusty winds to the suffering residents.

Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell described “total destruction” on Carriacou and Petite Martinique, having witnessed the damage in a two-hour helicopter ride.

“There’s really nothing that can prepare you to see this level of destruction,” Mitchell said. “It is almost Armageddon-like, almost total damage and destruction of all buildings. Complete devastation and destruction of agriculture. Complete and total destruction of the natural environment.”

“There is literally no vegetation left anywhere on Carriacou; the mangroves are totally destroyed, the boats and the marinas significantly damaged,” he said. “There is almost complete destruction of the electrical grid system in Carriacou. The entire communication system is completely destroyed.”

However, Mitchell added, he’d been heartened by the volunteers “showing true Grenadian spirit” by arriving from other less damaged areas in boats and fishing vessels to begin delivering relief supplies to those affected.

Carriacou’s total population of 6,081 was affected. The majority of homes and buildings have been extensively damaged. Petite Martinique has an estimated 80 percent of the houses and buildings extensively damaged or destroyed where 900 people were affected.  The majority of the island was sheltering.

Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines saw every one of the island’s 12,600 inhabitants affected. An estimated 90 percent of the houses were damaged, either extensively or destroyed. Even the police station in Charlestown lost its roof.

In the northern part of Grenada, there was a lot of damage. “It is clear that agriculture has taken quite a battering. It is clear that many persons have lost their roofs,” Mitchell said. “It is clear, in some instances, many people have lost their entire homes.”

Union Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines saw its population of 3,000 affected by extensive damage. An estimated 98 percent of buildings, including houses, were badly damaged or destroyed. The airport control tower and hospital roof destroyed.

The 300 people in Mayreau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were affected with 90 percent of the housing stock and buildings damaged or destroyed.

There was also mild water and wind damage in Palm Island, Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia, Bequia and Trinidad and Tobago.

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