Hurricane Beryl Strikes Near Tulum, Mexico as a Category 2 Storm

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It's expected to weaken over the Yucatan Peninsula but could regain strength in the Gulf of Mexico before potentially hitting near the Mexico-Texas border. The storm prompted evacuations and preparations across the region, with significant impacts already seen in affected areas.

Hurricane Beryl made landfall on Mexico’s coast near the resort of Tulum as a Category 2 storm early Friday morning. It whipped through trees and caused widespread power outages, following its path of destruction across the eastern Caribbean. The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported that Beryl is expected to weaken rapidly to a tropical storm as it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula, only to regain hurricane strength once it re-enters the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters anticipate Beryl heading towards northern Mexico near the Texas border, an area recently drenched by Tropical Storm Alberto. Previously the earliest storm to escalate to Category 5 status in the Atlantic, Beryl had already caused significant damage in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados.

By the time Beryl made landfall, its maximum sustained winds had decreased to 100 mph (160 kph), according to the U.S. Hurricane Center. Mexican authorities had evacuated some tourists and residents from low-lying areas around the Yucatan peninsula, but many stayed behind to endure the powerful winds and expected storm surge. Tulum, typically a quiet village, has seen rapid growth with development, now accommodating about 50,000 residents and countless daily tourists, facilitated by its own international airport.

As Beryl moved west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph), its center passed approximately 15 miles (25 kilometers) north-northwest of Tulum early Friday. The storm prompted warnings along Tulum’s beaches, with military personnel urging tourists to evacuate while authorities prepared shelters and secured coastal communities against potential storm surge.

Lara Marsters, visiting from Boise, Idaho, prepared for potential power outages by stocking up on water, recognizing the storm’s impact on local infrastructure. Despite precautions, Beryl’s trajectory suggested a resurgence in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially leading to another hurricane landfall near the Mexico-U.S. border in the coming days.

Efforts to evacuate vulnerable villages like Punta Allen and Mahahual proved challenging, despite temporary storm shelters being established in schools and hotels. Earlier, Beryl wrought havoc across the Caribbean, severely damaging homes and infrastructure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and Jamaica. The storm's ferocity was evident in tales from residents like Captain Baga, who witnessed unprecedented destruction on Union Island.

As Beryl’s aftermath unfolded, reports emerged of casualties in Grenada, Carriacou, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and northern Venezuela, underscoring the storm’s deadly impact. Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Tropical Depression Aletta posed minimal threat as it moved away from land, expected to dissipate by the weekend.