KINGSTON, Jamaica – Hurricane Beryl slammed into Jamaica on Wednesday afternoon, packing wind gusts of up to 140 mph (225 km/h) and causing storm surges along the island’s coast.

Berl maintained Category 4 strength on Wednesday as the storm tore through the Caribbean Sea, causing devastation in the southeastern Windward Islands, where the storm first made landfall.

Before Beryl’s arrival, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared the island a disaster area, which will will remain in effect for at least the next week.

FOX Weather Correspondent Robert Ray said outer rain bands began moving over Negril, on the western side of the island, early in the afternoon. Ray said power outages occurred before Beryl’s eyewall hit the island.

BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS SHOW DESTRUCTION IN THE CARIBBEAN AFTER BERYL HIT THE ISLANDS

According to Jamaica Public Service, power outages were most severe around Kingston.

After 3 p.m., tropical storm force winds were felt on the western side of the island, with gusts approaching 70 mph (113 km/h) in Kingston. According to the NHC, mountainous areas of the island could experience the most destructive winds.

Video footage from Montego Bay showed winds picking up and sirens could be heard in the distance.

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Beryl caused huge waves along the coast near Kingston, while Beryl moved miles off the Jamaican coast.

High waves pound the beach in Kingston, Jamaica, ahead of Hurricane Beryl on July 3, 2024. Beryl was heading toward Jamaica on July 3, with forecasters warning of potentially deadly winds and storm surges after at least seven people were killed and widespread destruction was reported across the southeastern Caribbean. The powerful hurricane, rare this early in the Atlantic season, was expected to pass through Jamaica around midday as a “life-threatening” Category 4 storm, meteorologists said. (Photo by Ricardo Makyn/AFP) (Photo by RICARDO MAKYN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Dark clouds over the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica, seen from Negril.
(Robert Ray/FOX Weather)

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – JULY 3: Surfers enjoy the waves before the arrival of Hurricane Beryl on July 3, 2024 in Kingston, Jamaica. Category 4 storm Beryl has caused widespread damage across several island nations as it moves through the Caribbean. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Dark clouds over the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica, seen from Negril.
(Robert Ray/FOX Weather)

Dark clouds over the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica, seen from Negril.
(Robert Ray/FOX Weather)

Workers salvage pieces of a tin fence that was blown apart as winds from Hurricane Beryl tore through the area in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 3, 2024. Category 4 Storm Beryl has caused widespread damage across several island nations as it continues to move across the Caribbean. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Dark clouds over the Caribbean Sea as Hurricane Beryl approaches Jamaica, seen from Negril.
(Robert Ray/FOX Weather)

Hurricane Beryl is expected to hit the Cayman Islands later Wednesday evening and then move across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday or Friday.