UNDP ready to support the Caribbean to recover from Hurricane Beryl

T&T spared from the brunt of Beryl, but significant damages reported in other islands

July 2, 2024
Men try to unclog a drain in Buccoo after flash flooding occurred during the passage of Hurricane Beryl on July 1

July 2, 2024. Over the weekend, Hurricane Beryl made landfall in the Eastern Caribbean bringing winds from 155 mph to 160 mph, becoming the first hurricane on record to reach category 5 so early in the Atlantic.  Entire communities have been flooded, houses destroyed, livelihoods wiped out, and the full scale of this event is not yet known. 

“We are deeply saddened by the devastating loss of life, the impact on livelihoods and infrastructures as well as the suffering caused to communities by this hurricane. UNDP remains in solidarity with the Caribbean people, and we stand ready to support the governments and communities with immediate critical needs as they begin to recover from this event”, said Michelle Muschett, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

The UNDP stands ready to deploy personnel to support national and regional emergency management authorities in launching relief and recovery efforts in the Eastern Caribbean and is monitoring the path of the hurricane that could potentially affect Jamaica and Central America 

Preliminary reports indicate that Carriacou, Grenada, and Grenadine islands in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are among the worst affected so far, with widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including telecommunications, and at least one death. Barbados recorded damage to coastal infrastructure and significant property losses in the marine sector. Trinidad & Tobago experienced heavy showers and strong winds, with some flash flooding in flood-prone areas, fallen trees and some coastal damage particularly in Tobago. T&T was spared from the brunt of Beryl, and the MET Service has since discontinued the Adverse Weather Alert for both islands and surrounding coastal waters.  

Ugo Blanco, Resident Representative for UNDP T&T, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Marteen, stated, “Trinidad and Tobago was fortunate to have been spared the worst of Hurricane Beryl. Our hearts go out to our Caribbean neighbors who have been severely impacted. Thanks to the support of the EU UNDP looks forward to continue collaboration with and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, to strengthen national capacities for Early Warning systems and disaster preparedness. Together, we must work to build stronger and more resilient communities in the face of the ever-increasing threat of extreme weather events.” 

Beryl is the second named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season - which was forecast to be a very active one. Ocean temperatures, already elevated due to climate variability and change, have been further increased by the 2023-24 El Niño phenomenon. From a period of intense drought, we are expected to transition to a stronger-than-normal hurricane season. This season, 20-25 storms are forecasted, of which 8-12 could become hurricanes. As this unprecedented hurricane season is getting started, UNDP will continue supporting the region in prevention, preparedness, and recovery.

Media Contacts:  

For Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Curacao & Sint Marteen: 

Solange Fletcher-Herbert, solange.fletcher-herbert@undp.org +1 868 680 5263