Hurricane Beryl makes landfall near Matagorda in Texas, US; a state of emergency declared

Hurricane Beryl has made landfall on the central Texas coast, triggering severe storm surges and high-speed winds to millions across the state.

Blake Charanza covers his face from the piercing rain due to Hurricane Beryl, after he and Shawn Trent covered a fuel pump with plastic at Buc-ee’s, in Freeport, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2024. REUTERS/Adrees Latif TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY(REUTERS)

Beryl, that has been classified as a Category 1 hurricane, hit Matagorda, Texas, around 4 a.m. local time with winds exceeding 74 miles per hour. The impact location lies between Galveston and Corpus Christi.

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With maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour as of 4 a.m., the National Hurricane Center reports Beryl is expected to unleash destructive winds, dangerous storm surges, and potentially up to 15 inches of rainfall in certain Texas regions. While Beryl — which topped out as a Category 5 storm in the Caribbean last week — weakened as it passed across the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday, it has churned across the Gulf of Mexico, where unusually warm waters helped it regain strength.

Hurricance Beryl: Expected impact on Texas

Texas has declared a disaster for 121 counties, mobilizing the National Guard and emergency response teams. Authorities stress the importance of evacuation, noting insufficient adherence to warnings despite Beryl’s deadly history in the Caribbean, where it claimed at least 11 lives before moving across the Gulf of Mexico.

Beryl’s hurricane-force winds may drive as much as seven feet (2.1 meters) of water onto parts of the coast as it approaches Texas, where a state of emergency has been declared in 121 counties. Exxon Mobil Corp. said Sunday it’s adjusting some operations as the storm approaches. Freeport LNG ramped down liquefaction operations with plans to resume once the storm safely passes, a company spokesperson said.

Beryl’s path of destruction began in the Caribbean, causing widespread devastation and marking the first early-season hurricane to achieve Category 5 status this year.

Studies indicate that climate change is increasing the occurrence of severe hurricanes, leading to faster intensification and higher rainfall. Beryl’s rapid development into a major hurricane signals a troubling forecast for the remainder of the hurricane season.

(With agency inputs)

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