SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (NEWSnet/AP) — A dangerous and extremely powerful Hurricane Beryl made landfall Monday on the Caribbean island of Carriacou.

Beryl is the earliest storm of its strength to form in the Atlantic, fueled by record warm waters. It has been wobbling between Category 3 and the stronger Category 4 strength ratings in recent hours.

Carriacou is one of the islands of Grenada, where officials said winds increased up to 150 mph, blowing off roofs and causing other damage.

“This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation,” the National Hurricane Center said.

 

Hurricane warnings were in effect for Barbados, Grenada, Tobago and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as thousands of people hunkered down in homes and shelters.

Late Monday morning, Beryl was located about 30 miles northeast of the island of Grenada, with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph.

Once Beryl passes, drones will assess damage and speed up response, said Wilfred Abrahams, minister of home affairs and information. Before, it used to take two hours to receive information as crews fanned out across the island, versus seven minutes with drones, he noted.

Beryl Forecast

 

A tropical storm warning was in effect for St. Lucia, Martinique and Trinidad.

A tropical storm watch was issued for Haiti’s entire southern coast, and from Punta Palenque in the Dominican Republic west to the border with Haiti.

A hurricane watch was issued for Jamaica.

The storm was expected to weaken slightly over the Caribbean Sea on a path that would take it just south of Jamaica and later toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1.

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