Updates*: “Early recovery actions” underway in Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Cayman Islands after Hurricane Beryl

The island of Carriacou, Grenada, after Hurricane Beryl. Photo: Lavern Ryan.

Last updated: July 17th, 12:50 UTC

  • Hurricane Beryl leaves near total-destruction in one Caribbean island before striking Jamaica on July 4th, Mexico on July 5th, 6th and 7th. Struck coast of US on July 8th: seven reported casualties (18 total for Hurricane Beryl, July 9th)
  • It made landfall on Carriacou Island in Grenada on July 1st as a Category 4/5 hurricane (readjusted to Category 4 on July 3rd; Category 2 on July 8th) bringing damaging winds, heavy rains and casualties
  • 80,000 people affected and 60,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance on devastated islands in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines (July 10th, UN)
  • MapAction launches Emergency Humanitarian Mapping Response Appeal to cover costs of predicted future mapping support missions during ‘hurricane season’
  • 11 casualties already from Hurricane Beryl in the Caribbean, according to July 8th media reports
  • The BBC reports seven casualties caused by Hurricane Beryl in the US as it struck Texas and Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane (July 9th)
  • Thousands of Grenadians have taken refuge in 11 emergency shelters
  • The winds, torrential rains and flash flooding could put at least 3 million children in the Caribbean at risk, according to UNICEF estimates. (ReliefWeb, July 3rd)
  • 98% of housing on Union Island, in St Vincent and the Grenadines, destroyed (ReliefWeb, July 3rd)
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada worst affected, although damage in Jamaica and Cayman Islands too
  • Hurricane Beryl is the first major hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. It is already the strongest July hurricane on record.
  • “Hurricane Beryl impacted several countries in the southwestern Caribbean. CDEMA continues coordinating the response efforts, supported by National Emergency Management Coordinators. Various forms of support are being provided to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and its dependents. Assessments have commenced to determine the response level. Additionally, a Level 1 response is ongoing in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, and Dominica.” Relief Web (July 2nd).
  • For specific map and data products, please also check our data and maps repository: maps.mapaction.org.
  • Find out more about MapActions’ previous 140+ emergency response support missions here.
  • The response is being coordinated by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). MapAction and CDEMA have been partners for more than 15 years. Find out more about the partnership in this podcast
  • MapAction humanitarian mappers are in the Caribbean to support CDEMA response
  • Want to know more about MapAction’s work? This short video gives an overview of what we do. 
  • For further useful information on ‘hurricane season’ in the Caribbean, try our partners at CDEMA.
  • More MapAction maps and data products relating to Hurricane Beryl
  • *This blog is not regularly updated in the evenings or on weekends

Hurricane Beryl updates

July 17th, 12:50 UTC: Map of humanitarian deliveries helps identify need for future vital aid

This map of post-Hurricane Beryl humanitarian relief deliveries on Carriacou and Petite Martinique, both in Grenada, helps humanitarian agencies understand which communities have already received basics like food and water and which communities are most in-need for future deliveries.

July 16th, 14:40 UTC: Map of structural damage in Grenada highlights severity and access

This map of structural damage in southeast Grenada helps decision-makers and emergency responders, like MapAction partner the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), focus their resources and time during a response on the most at-risk communities. The map colour codes areas with particularly high levels of damage, while also highlighting human settlements nearby, as well as main and secondary roads to illustrate access.

July 15, 16:45 UTC: MapAction’s Appeal

Providing the insights and maps that help decision-makers respond more effectively to emergencies, like Hurricane Beryl, is expensive. If we are to continue to respond to future emergencies in what is expected to be a busy ‘hurricane season’, we need your support. Can you or somebody you know support our appeal?

July 15th, 16:45 UTC: Where MapAction goes, the tech trunk follows

July 15th, 16:45 UTC: MapAction mapping Lavern Ryan to continue to support CDEMA from Barbados office

MapAction member Lavern Ryan (right) was today airlifted from Carriacou to Grenada, before travelling to Barbados where she will continue to work with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) on the response to Hurricane Beryl. She travelled with CDEMA’s Executive Director Elizabeth Riley (centre) and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Interim Executive Director Dr. Lisa Indar.

July 15th, 16:30 UTC: Jamaica maps combine key access routes and population data at parish level

These four parish maps from Jamaica help decision-makers understand the baseline population in each parish, as well as basic access by road or railway. This helps those planning the recovery after Hurricane Beryl to zone in to specific affected parishes and plan tailored responses for those areas. 

July 15th, 08:55 UTC: Hurricane Beryl affected 10 CDEMA member states. Focus now on Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Cayman Islands to inform “early recovery actions” (CDEMA)

“Hurricane Beryl has moved out of the area and is no longer a threat to Caribbean States that are a part of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management (CDEMA) System. Following the passage of Beryl and its impact on ten (10)Participating States, the focus is now on assisting Grenada and its Grenadines of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and the Grenadine islands of Bequia, Union Island, Canouan and Mayreau in St. Vincent. Assessments continue in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to determine damage and inform response and early recovery actions.” Read the full July 12th update from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) here.

July 11th, 14:25 UTC: MapAction team in Jamaica produce set of baseline maps

Experienced humanitarian mappers Alistair Wilkie and Kirsty Ferris are in Jamaica working with the United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination (UNDAC) team in Kingston on situation maps (e.g. locations of shelters), assessment maps (e.g. damage to critical infrastructure) and population products.

July 11th, 11:30 UTC: Map of impassable roads in Carriacou, Grenada, designed to help humanitarian agencies deliver aid, and evacuate at-risk communities to shelters, more efficiently

The map below, made by our team working on Grenada, shows which roads have been made impassable by Hurricane Beryl on the island of Carriacou. This helps needs assessment teams to identify the fastest route to deliver humanitarian aid and the easiest way to evacuate people to shelters, while adding to the overall assessment on damage to core infrastructure.

July 11th, 09:30 UTC: IOM has 51 emergency shelters in Jamaica

The MapAction map below, made by our team on the ground in Jamaica, outlines the location of more than 50 emergency shelters established by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in response to Hurricane Beryl.

July 11th, 08:15 UTC: 80,000 people affected in Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines

“Over 80,000 people were potentially affected by Hurricane Beryl across Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, including more than 44,000 in Grenada, and 40,000 people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, based on the number of people hit by wind speeds of 120 km/h or above, according to the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC Global). The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is estimated to be nearly 60,000 people.” July 10th statement from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

July 10th, 10:00 UTC: More photos of devastation from Carriacou, Grenada

Photo: Lavern Ryan.
Photo: Lavern Ryan.
MapAction deployed mapper Lavern Ryan on Carriacou with the coastguard. Photo: Lavern Ryan.

July 10th, 09:15 UTC: Nearly 1000 people remain in shelters in St Vincent and the Grenadines

12,000 people are estimated to be in need of basic services, including 3,500 children, between Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines as of July 10th, according to the latest update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

July 9th, 14:45 UTC: Needs assessment with CDEMA continues

MapAction members Tony Giles and Elena Field talk about the current situation on St Vincent and the Grenadines with Elizabeth Riley (3rd from right), executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) as they cross paths in transit at the airport.

July 9th, 13:05 UTC: WFP delivers emergency food to St Vincent and the Grenadines to feed 4500 people for 10 days

July 9th, 11:00 UTC: MapAction launches Emergency Humanitarian Mapping Response Appeal

If you haven’t seen our appeal to be able to continue to respond and provide vital map and data support to regional agencies in the Caribbean during this ‘hurricane season’, please see it below. Do you know a friend, contact or company that could help? Get in touch!

“CDEMA and MapAction have been working together for many years responding to disasters while learning to be able to better respond to future disasters. When an event like Hurricane Beryl happens, CDEMA makes the call to MapAction because they will deploy specialist teams that understand what we need, and can make an immediate impact on how CDEMA and its regional and international partners provide aid to disaster affected countries.”

Renee Babb, GIS Specialist, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

Appeal: MapAction Emergency Humanitarian Mapping Response Appeal

July 9th, 10: 50 UTC: Meet Lavern Ryan, who is in the Grenadine Islands supporting CDEMA with mapping

Lavern Ryan in Carriacou after Hurricane Beryl.

Lavern, from Montserrat, told her own personal story of displacement following a volcanic eruption on her home island in 1996 on our podcast with Geomob. We also featured Lavern this year on International Women’s Day.

READ ALSO: Meet a MapAction pioneer on International Women’s Day

July 9th, 08: 50 UTC: What is GIS? Explainer

“To make sense of the immense amount of data in today’s world, we can map it.” Still wondering what geospatial means and why we map things? This explainer scroll from ESRI does a good job for anyone curious to learn more about this use of technology.

July 9th, 08: 15 UTC: MapAction ‘Map Wall’ is a compass in a crisis

MapAction ‘Map Walls’ give decision-makers a holistic overview of key data in a crisis. Below, MapAction mapper Elena Field showcases the most recent iteration of the map wall for Hurricane Beryl. The wall covers the basics: what is the population in each part district and who is affected? Where are the emergency shelters and working health facilities? What damage has been incurred to buildings and key infrastructure?

July 9th, 08:15 UTC: Nearly 1000 people in 41 temporary shelters on St Vincent

The MapAction map below shows where the shelters are on St Vincent and what the occupancy breakdown is by adults and children. This helps organisations focused on child health to offer tailored, additional support to children displaced by the hurricane.

July 9th, 08:05 UTC: Seven reported casualties in the US

Seven people have lost their life in the US to Hurricane Beryl, reports the BBC. Nearly three million people in Texas and Louisiana were without power last night.

July 8th, 15:15 UTC: Satellite image of Union Island helps needs assessment team inspect and verify damaged buildings

MapAction would like to acknowledge the support of imagery company BlackSky, who allowed us to task their satellite and source remote imagery of the affected islands as part of data for the map below.

Post event imagery allows decision-makers to see which buildings have sustained damage. The actual imagery has a ground resolution of one metre which allows for inspection, verification and planning. This helps those making decisions to quickly understand which buildings have been destroyed and where. #geospatial4good

Union Island. Photo: Tony Giles

July 8th, 14: 25 UTC: Jamaica: 2 deaths, 250 roads blocked and 1800 people in shelters

The latest bulletin on Hurricane Beryl’s damage to Jamaica as it passed through the island on July 3rd from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).

There was extensive damage to utility poles and downed powerlines
across parishes. Impacts across the island also included Fallen Trees,
Wind damage to infrastructure and roofing, Flooding and Storm Surges.

July 8th, 13:50 UTC: Podcast: “I don’t know if it is because we are perfectly or imperfectly positioned”

Earlier this year, the folks from Geomob, in a co-production with MapAction, sat down to discuss the Caribbean with CDEMA’s GIS Specialist Renée Babb and Montserratian MapAction volunteer Lavern Ryan. You can listen to the podcast here. Below is an excerpt from CDEMA’s Renée Babb on why the Caribbean is so prone to natural disasters.

July 8th, 13:25 UTC: MapAction publishes 3D visualisation of affected islands

A 3D fly-through of the Grenadine Islands of Union, Mayreua and Canouan. Imagery Credits: Esri, Maxar, Earthstar Geographics, and the GIS User Community

July 8th, 09:10 UTC: CDEMA deep into response and rapid assessment in St Vincent

Video of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in action as their Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) works in St Vincent and the Grenadines. 98% per cent of infrastructure and housing on Union Island was reportedly destroyed by Hurricane Beryl. Rasheed Pinder, CDEMA’s programme officer, outlines the response so far. Video courtesy of CDEMA and CBC TV 8.

Video courtesy of CDEMA.

July 8th, 08:15 UTC: MapAction team in St Vincent to provide support to CDEMA Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT)

MapAction members (centre) with the CDEMA Rapid Needs Assessment Team (RNAT) in St Vincent over the weekend. Photo: CDEMA.

July 8th, 08:10 UTC: Hurricane Beryl strengthening again to Category 2 hurricane as it approaches Houston, USA.

The storm left devastation in several Caribbean islands last week, causing 11 deaths. Mexico was impacted by storms and strong winds over the weekends, reports Reuters.

July 5th, 09:45 UTC: IFRC: “New reality for the Caribbean”

“This unprecedented early-season hurricane underscores the new reality of the climate crises that Caribbean small island nations face: storms are more likely to rapidly intensify and become stronger, causing severe destruction and giving communities less time to recover in between shocks. The hotter-than-normal water temperatures in the southern Atlantic and Caribbean are acting as fuel for storms, causing them to intensify very quickly into major hurricanes –category three or superior.” More in a statement on Hurricane Beryl from the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC).

July 5th, 08:25 UTC: Coast of Mexico (Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancún), hit by strong winds and heavy rains

July 5th, 08:20 UTC: Rebuilding of Union Island a “herculean” effort, say UN agencies on the ground doing damage assessment

July 4th, 19:35 UTC: Cayman Islands avoid the worst from Hurricane Beryl

Despite reported damage to building and infrastructure, the government of the Cayman Islands has issued an all-clear statement, meaning Hurricane Beryl did not wreak the havoc expected there.

July 4th, 19:30 UTC: MapAction members en-route to St Vincent

July 4th, 14:25 UTC: Cayman Islands, Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Mexico and USA could still be affected by Hurricane Beryl

An update on the projected path of Hurricane Beryl from the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center states that the Cayman Islands, Belize, Mexico and areas of the USA can expect strong winds and storms caused by the hurricane in the coming days.

July 4th, 12:15 UTC: Satellite images show the extent of the damage to homes and infrastructure caused by Hurricane Beryl as it surged through the Windward Islands

July 4th, 12:08 UTC: Good news for St Lucia at least as businesses reopen

July 4th, 12:06 UTC: Cayman Islands braced for Hurricane Beryl

“Residents of the Cayman Islands should prepare for worsening conditions as Hurricane Beryl continues to approach. The storm’s current trajectory brings it dangerously close to the islands, with the potential for significant impacts,” states the latest July 4th update from the Cayman Islands government.

July 4th, 10:05 UTC: Hurricane Beryl moves on from Jamaica having caused further devastation

July 4th, 10:00 UTC: 11 emergency shelters operating in Grenada, according to the national disaster management agency (NaDMA)

July 4th, 09:15 UTC: Up to 3 million children at risk, says UNICEF

The winds, torrential rains and flash flooding could put at least 3 million children in the Caribbean at risk, according to UNICEF estimates released yesterday.

“UNICEF and partners have pre-positioned life-saving supplies in several countries in the Caribbean Basin, including medical kits, educational kits, essential water supplies, sanitation and hygiene materials (such as water tanks, large bottles and water purification tablets), and key equipment such as high-quality tents, which will be deployed as needed,” adds the release on ReliefWeb.

July 4th, 08:00 UTC: Union Island suffers “near-total devastation” as Hurricane Beryl strikes Jamaica

“Carriacou and Petit Martinique, part of Grenada, saw most buildings, including schools and petrol stations, damaged or destroyed,” states an update from ReliefWeb on July 3rd. “Union Island, part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, suffered near-total devastation, with 98% of housing destroyed, no sanitation facilities, limited water, and extensive damage to its airport and power plant. Evacuations to St. Vincent are ongoing despite limited accommodation due to the Vincy Mas carnival.” 

July 3rd, 18:55 UTC: MapAction deployment scale-up planned 

Following meetings today with both the Caribbean Dissaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as well as the United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination Office (UNDAC), it is extremely likely that MapAction’s response to Hurricane Beryl will be scaled up and potentially last until the middle of August (if resources allow).

A team of three humanitarian MapAction mappers is in Barbados with CDEMA. Onward deployment to Grenada and St Vincent & the Grenadines is expected.

LISTEN: Podcast. Towards disaster resilience with CDEMA in the Caribbean

UNDAC are also planning to deploy a team to Jamaica as they are expecting significant damage and humanitarian impact there. MapAction are planning to support this UNDAC response with two further MapAction members. This would be an initial two week deployment, starting as early as this weekend.

July 3rd, 17:00 UTC: Remote team of mappers supporting CDEMA

A team of three experienced MapAction mappers is providing 24-hour remote support to CDEMA. See some of the maps published below.

Published Maps – MapAction have already published a growing range of downloadable baseline and reference maps for Grenada, The Grenadines & St Vincent, and now Jamaica. These cover Critical Infrastructure, Emergency Shelters, Baseline Population and Country Overview Maps. They can be found on our website at mapaction.maps.org, as well as on ReliefWeb. Due to some sporadic technical issues with our system all maps are currently also being uploaded to the Virtual OSOCC.

What exactly does MapAction do? Find out more in the short video below

July 3rd, 10.45 UTC: MapAction to support CDEMA in response

Three expert MapAction mapping and information management volunteers are en-route to Barbados, in response to Hurricane Beryl. Two have left the UK and they will be joined in Barbados by a third, from Montserrat. From Barbados they will coordinate with the response team at long term MapAction partners, CDEMA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency).

Hurricane Beryl rapidly intensified over the weekend to become the first major hurricane of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. It made landfall on Carriacou Island in Grenada, on July 1st as a Category 4/5 hurricane, bringing damaging winds, heavy rain, and a storm surge. Beryl has already caused significant damage and loss of life in Cariacou, St Vincent and The Grenadines, and Venezuela, and is already the strongest July hurricane on record.

Beryl is projected to travel through the central Caribbean, buffeting Haiti, before potentially impacting Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, before entering the Gulf of Mexico, approaching the Yucatan Peninsula later in the week, remaining a major hurricane throughout.  

MapAction was initially contacted by CDEMA on Sunday June 30th, and the team was ready to deploy within 24 hours. Meanwhile MapAction also has three further team members supporting remotely, offering 24 hour support as they are respectively currently situated in Taiwan, Colombia and the UK. Further team members are standing by. CDEMA will be liaising with both national governments and with UN Regional Office for Latin America and Caribbean, with whom MapAction also has a long record of support.

We believe this will be a large multi-country response, drawing significantly on both emergency response personnel availability and cash resources.

Thank you to our donors. Our initial work on the response will be funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

MapAction will also be launching an appeal, to ensure that we can immediately and effectively respond to Hurricane Beryl, and to hurricanes and crises later in the year. If you value MapAction’s work, please make a donation. Even when it is provided by MapAction’s expert volunteers, providing this vital support costs money.

Further updates will follow as this response develops.