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Hundreds Lose Homes, Churches Destroyed By Hurricane Beryl

By Erik Tryggestad
caribbean beryl
Carriacou, population 9,600, sustained major damage from Hurricane Beryl. (Photo: Chrispin Hosten / The Christian Chronicle)

As Hurricane Beryl made its way toward Mexico on July 4, Christians across the Caribbean began the long task of damage assessment and recovery.

Two days earlier, the Category 4 hurricane devastated the island of Carriacou, population 9,600, which is part of the nation of Grenada.

“In half an hour, Carriacou was flattened,” Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said in a news briefing.

Chrispin Hosten ministers for a church on Carriacou that has about 30 in attendance on Sundays. He sent images to media from the island that show near-total devastation.

“The whole island (lies in) destruction,” he said. “The members are in need of food, water and clothing.”

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caribbean beryl
Damaged homes and downed trees can be seen across the island of Carriacou after Hurricane Beryl. (Photo: Chrispin Hosten / The Christian Chronicle)

The church’s white, two-story building lost its roof, and most of the church’s members lost roofs or entire homes, Hosten said.

Churches in Grenada and other parts of the Caribbean are collecting aid for Carriacou, said Ossafa Gordon, minister for the Grand Anse Church of Christ on Grenada’s main island. Healing Hands International also is collecting funds for relief.

As it headed west from Grenada, Beryl ripped along the southern coast of Jamaica.

Church members including Gladwyn Kiddoe, director of the Jamaica School of Preaching and Biblical Studies in Kingston, are assessing damage and needs. The storm also was expected to affect the Cayman Islands.

This story originally appeared in The Christian Chronicle and has been reprinted with permission.

Erik TryggestadErik Tryggestad is president and CEO of The Christian Chronicle. He has filed stories for the Chronicle from more than 65 nations.

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