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Hurricane Beryl leaves major damage in Jamaica and hits Mexico and Texas

The storm is likely to hit the Yucatan Peninsula next.

Hurricane Beryl weakened to a Category 3 storm on Thursday, but left flooding and widespread destruction on the island of Jamaica late Wednesday evening.

The center of Beryl passed just 72 kilometers south of Kingston, Jamaica, as a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 225 km/h.

Beryl was the first major hurricane (at least Category 3) to pass so close to Jamaica since 2007.

By Thursday morning, Beryl had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph (193 km/h) as it approached the Cayman Islands.

The hurricane is expected to pass just south of the Cayman Islands on Thursday morning, bringing hurricane-force winds and a storm surge that could cause 4 to 6 feet of water to rise and 4 feet of rain to fall.

Beryl is expected to make landfall next on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, where hurricane warnings are in effect for major resort areas such as Cancun, Playa de Carmen and Tulum.

Beryl could become a Category 1 hurricane when it hits Mexican resorts early Friday morning with wind gusts of 120 to 140 km/h, a storm surge of up to one meter and up to 20 centimeters of rain.

By Friday evening, Beryl is expected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico and weaken to a tropical storm.

As Beryl moves across the Gulf toward the U.S.-Mexico border, it could re-strengthen into a hurricane with winds of 75 mph before making landfall. Right now, it's too early to say exactly where on the Gulf Coast it will make landfall, with models predicting a location between northeastern Mexico and the Texas Gulf Coast.

Regardless of Beryl's strength, heavy rains are expected in southern Texas.

In addition, prolonged onshore winds along the U.S. Gulf Coast could create rough beach conditions and there is a risk of rip currents this holiday weekend.