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Hurricane Beryl hits Texas; producers halt oil exploration

Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Matagorda, Texas, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday (8), after the approaching storm forced the closure of major oil ports and the cancellation of flights.

Beryl was about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southwest of Houston with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), the NHC said, adding that the storm was now expected to weaken.

“Beryl is expected to weaken to a tropical storm later today and to a tropical depression by Tuesday,” the NHC said in its latest briefing.

The storm swept through Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, knocking down buildings and power lines and killing at least 11 people.

It weakened after its deadly path of destruction across the Caribbean, but strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane as it crossed the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall.

Acting Gov. Dan Patrick on Sunday declared 120 counties disaster areas ahead of the storm and warned Beryl “will be a deadly storm for people directly in its path.”

Residents rushed to board up windows and stock up on fuel as the storm approached.

School systems — including the state’s largest in Houston — said they would close as the storm approached. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights and authorities ordered a series of evacuations in coastal cities.

The closure of major oil shipping ports around Corpus Christi, Galveston and Houston ahead of the storm could disrupt crude oil exports, crude shipments to refineries and motor fuel for factories.

Source: CNN Brasil

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