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Barbados Prime Minister calls on businesses to close as Hurricane Beryl approaches

Cars line up at a gas station before Hurricane Beryl hits Barbados on June 29, 2024. (Credit: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Cars line up at a gas station before Hurricane Beryl hits Barbados on June 29, 2024.
(Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has urged all non-essential businesses on the island to close at 8:30 p.m. Sunday ahead of Hurricane Beryl’s arrival.

“The truth is we don’t want to put anyone’s life at risk in this country,” Mottley said in a video message Saturday evening.

He added that the country’s main airport “will likely close” around 8 p.m. on Sunday, saying authorities would provide more information that day.

CNN has contacted the airport for more details, but has not yet received a response.

Motley noted that Barbados continues to welcome cricket fans from all over the world who have travelled to the island for the T20 World Cup.

“Our visitors are here with us,” he said. “Some of them aren’t scheduled to leave until Monday or Tuesday, and some of them have never been through a hurricane or storm before.”

He urged residents to provide support to those who could not leave on Sunday and to continue preparing for the hurricane.

The Barbados Meteorological Service said Sunday afternoon that Beryl’s centre was expected to pass about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the island early Monday morning. Authorities are expecting hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and severe storm surges as it passes.

Barbados is bracing for a Category 4 hurricane

The effects of Hurricane Beryl are expected to be felt in Barbados late Sunday and island residents are bracing for the arrival of the Category 4 storm.

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There were large crowds and long lines at a local grocery store just after 7 a.m. local time, according to CNN affiliate CBC Barbados.

People were also seen filling up their tanks at a local gas station on Saturday night.

Some people were still relaxing on the beach Sunday, CBC reported.

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