Hurricane Beryl Hits Vacationers in Tulum after Causing Death and Destruction across Caribbean

Raquel Cunha/Reuters
Raquel Cunha/Reuters

The lights went out in Tulum, Mexico, early Friday as Hurricane Beryl hit the Yucatán Peninsula, plunging tens of thousands of vacationers and residents into darkness, the Associated Press reported.

The killer storm, responsible for at least 11 deaths and mass destruction in the Caribbean, also hit Cancun, where hotels and restaurants were boarded up to prevent damage. It is poised to re-strengthen this weekend as it takes aim at Texas.

After reaching Category 5 strength on Monday–setting a record for the strongest storm ever so early in the season–Beryl weakened to a Category 3 before hitting Jamaica on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Beryl will pick up strength as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico and strikes southern Texas early Monday morning, likely regaining hurricane winds on its way.

“There is an increasing risk of hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, and flooding from heavy rainfall in portions of northeastern Mexico and the lower and middle Texas coast late Sunday and Monday,” the Hurricane Center warned.

a beach after Hurricane Beryl made landfall

This was the scene in Cancun when Beryl slammed into the resort as a Category 2 storm early Friday.

Paola Chiomante/Reuters

“ Rip currents will cause life-threatening beach conditions beginning late today and continuing through the weekend across much of the Gulf coast,” the center said. “Beachgoers should heed warning flags and the advice of lifeguards and local officials before venturing into the water.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, officials are preparing for the possibility that Hurricane Beryl might shift northward, potentially causing coastal flooding, strong winds, and dangerous rip currents. On Friday, the city distributed 10,000 sandbags in under two hours, depleting their supply. This effort followed the distribution of 14,000 sandbags on Wednesday.

The storm's expected intensification can be attributed to the warm waters of the Gulf. Hurricanes strengthen when they move over areas with warmer sea surface temperatures, as they can absorb more heat and moisture.

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