Hurricane Beryl makes landfall in Mexico: US forecasters

Hurricane Beryl slammed into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Friday near the resort town of Tulum with fierce winds, US forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (160 kph) making it a Category 2 hurricane, weaker than earlier in the week as Beryl hit islands in the Caribbean.

Mexico’s national water commission Conagua reported similar wind speeds, with even stronger gusts.

The storm was expected to bring a dangerous sea surge from the Caribbean and big waves, the NHC added.

Beryl has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and the coast of Venezuela, killing at least seven people.

It was the first hurricane since NHC records began to reach the Category 4 level in June and the earliest to hit the highest Category 5 in July.

In Mexico, schools in the area bracing for a hit were suspended Thursday and shelters set up for locals and tourists.

In Cancun, a two-hour drive from Tulum, people stocked up on food and other essentials for days and hotels have boarded up their windows.

The storm is projected to weaken as it churns northwest across the Yucatan Peninsula but pick up strength again as it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, then hit the eastern state of Tamaulipas on the Texas border.