Hurricane Beryl update: OCHA, WMO, IFRC
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Edited News | OCHA , WMO , IFRC

Hurricane Beryl update: OCHA, WMO, IFRC

Hurricane Beryl smashes into Caribbean, turns sights on Mexico

As Hurricane Beryl’s destructive path shifted to Mexico on Friday after roiling the Caribbean, UN agencies and partners said that the emergency response was underway, before warning that a very long and damaging hurricane season looks increasingly likely.

“Unfortunately, we haven't heard the last of Beryl for the next few days…it's going to carry on causing damage,” said Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which previously warned that Beryl is the earliest Category 5 Atlantic Ocean hurricane on record.

To date, Beryl has left a trail of destruction in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines after making landfall on Monday as a category four hurricane. It then impacted Jamaica on Wednesday.

Most vulnerable hit

UN partner the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that life-threatening winds and winds on Thursday had severely impacted “the most vulnerable populations” in Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Jamaica.

“We heard from our colleagues in Saint Vincent that people are literally coming from Union Island to the mainland of Saint Vincent with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

Roofs blown off

Even the government shelters have been damaged because there are schools and churches and other buildings that have been impacted, the roofs have been blown off so they have had to relocate people even within the shelters,” she said.

The developments came as Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Mexico and battered the coastline before moving slowly inland. The storm remains a category two hurricane and was forecast to weaken as it moves across the Yucatan Peninsula and emerges in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have been preparing for this hurricane season and I would say that such a strong storm this early is extremely rare and it's also a warning for the anticipated very intense hurricane season that is coming,” said Vanessa Huguenin, spokesperson, from the UN aid coordination office, OCHA. Disaster response teams are en route for the affected Caribbean islands and an appeal will be announced shortly once assessments of the damage have been completed, she added.

Tens of thousands affected

Early, unconfirmed reports indicate that an estimated 40,000 people have been impacted in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, more than 100,000 in Grenada and another 120,000 people in Jamaica.

The Atlantic storm season runs from June through the end of November, with 17 to 25 named storms expected (the average is 14). Of those, the WMO said that eight to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes – above the average of seven - including four to seven major hurricanes (average is three). A major hurricane is category three, four or five on the Saffir Simpson scale, with winds of 111 mph / 178 km/h or higher.

“This new reality of unprecedented hurricanes is becoming an annual and ever-present reality for the Caribbean countries while facing the brunt of climate change,” said Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager. “The severity of damages in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl are tangible and devastating.”

ends

STORY: Hurricane Beryl update – OCHA, WMO, IFRC

TRT: 02 min 00s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 5 APRIL 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND


SHOTLIST 

  

  1. Exterior medium: UN Geneva flag alley.  
  2. Wide: podium from rear, Press room.
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean (From Port of Spain): “Red Cross teams on the ground have confirmed that life-threatening winds and winds have severely impacted the most vulnerable populations in Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Jamaica.”
  4. Medium: Press room.
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager: “Yesterday we heard from our colleagues in Saint Vincent that people are literally coming from Union Island to the mainland of Saint Vincent with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”
  6. Wide: Press room.
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager: “Even the government shelters have been damaged because there are schools and churches and other buildings that have been impacted, the roofs have been blown off so they have had to relocate people even within the shelters.”
  8. Medium: Press room podium from rear.
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) – Vanessa Huguenin, spokesperson, OCHA: “We have been preparing for this hurricane season and I would say that such a strong storm this early is extremely rare and it's also a warning for the anticipated very intense hurricane season that is coming.”
  10. Wide, Press room.
  11. SOUNDBITE (English) – Clare Nullis, spokesperson, WMO: “We haven't heard -  unfortunately, we haven't heard the last of Beryl for the next few days...it's going to carry on causing damage.”
  12. Medium-wide, journalists.
  13. SOUNDBITE (English) – Clare Nullis, spokesperson, WMO: “We rate hurricanes by the strength of their winds. But quite often it's the water which poses the real threat. So very, very, very heavy rainfall is expected and obviously the risk of storm surge and coastal flooding in vulnerable coastal communities.”
  14. Medium-wide, journalists.
  15. SOUNDBITE (English) – Rhea Pierre, IFRC Disaster Manager: “This new reality of unprecedented hurricanes is becoming an annual and ever-present reality for the Caribbean countries while facing the brunt of climate change. The severity of damages in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl are tangible and devastating.”
  16. Medium: journalist.
  17. Medium: journalist.
  18. Medium: journalist.


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