CARICOM Heads of Govt Meeting postponed as Hurricane Beryl reaches Category 4 storm on approach to C’bean

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Hurricane Beryl strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Sunday (Photo: WESH 2 News)

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat today (Sunday, June 30, 2024) announced the postponement of the upcoming Regular Meeting of Heads of Government that was scheduled to be held in Grenada in the coming days.

The 47th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government was set for July 3 to 5 at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort Hotel, Grand Anse – just outside the St George’s capital.

Citing Hurricane Beryl’s impending passage through the region, CARICOM said in a statement that the meeting was postponed to a date to be determined.

“The primary focus of the Community is now on citizen safety and security. Several Member States, including host nation Grenada, are now engaged in emergency preparations and planning to address the aftermath of the hurricane.”

“We implore everyone in the path of this Hurricane to take all necessary protective measures. The Community stands ready to support our Member States which will be affected by this dangerous hurricane.”

Based on reports, Hurricane Beryl strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm earlier today on its approach towards the southeast Caribbean.

According to a CBS News article, forecasters have warned that the first major hurricane of the Atlantic season would bring life-threatening winds and storm surge to the Windward Islands on Monday.

The article states that as of 14:00h today, Beryl was located about 310 miles east-southeast of Barbados with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and was moving west at 21 mph.

Hurricane warnings are already in effect in Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Tobago. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect for Martinique, while a tropical storm watch is in effect in Dominica and Trinidad.

“This is a very serious situation developing for the Windward Islands,” warned the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

The article further stated that the center said that Beryl was “forecast to bring life-threatening winds and storm surge … as an extremely dangerous hurricane.”

CBS News added that Beryl is on track to move across the Windward Islands early on Monday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane before traveling through the southeastern Caribbean on Monday night and Tuesday.

Two hurricane hunters were en route to the storm to gather more details about its intensity, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Airlines has already announced cancelled several scheduled flights across the region – including flights between Guyana and Barbados – due to the impending passage of Hurricane Beryl and the severe weather expected.

The airline said it has already reached out to affected passengers who will be accommodated on the next available service.