A boy clears rock from the street as it gets flooded after the hurricane Beryl in Barbados.

Hurricane Beryl has reached a powerful intensity, making it the earliest storm of this strength to form in the Atlantic ocean.

Beryl, which became the first hurricane of the 2024 season in the Atlantic on Saturday, has caused damage across several southeastern Caribbean islands. The storm has downed power lines, damaged buildings, and flooded streets in Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada.

“In half an hour, Carriacou was flattened,” Grenadian Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said. Grenada’s national disaster co-ordinator Terence Walter has reported “devastation” from locals in Carriacou and surrounding islands. Grenada’s state of emergency has been extended until July 7, as 95% of the island is without power.

At least one person has died on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Monday. “There may well be more fatalities,” he stated during a national address. Parts of the country are without electricity and water, while around 90% of the homes on Union Island are partially or completely damaged.

The hurricane is currently moving westward with maximum sustained winds of 165 miles per hour. A hurricane warning is in effect in Jamaica and officials have activated natural disaster response protocols.

On Sunday, the hurricane became the earliest major hurricane in the Atlantic in 58 years, and the only hurricane in June to reach Category 4 intensity. Experts attribute this record-breaking early formation to climate change-related rising ocean temperatures.

“The oceanic warmth is what we’d expect in early September, the time of year the tropical North Atlantic’s main developmental region’s heat is building toward its annual maximum,” Christopher Rozoff, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, tells TIME. “Warm sea surface temperatures are conducive to providing the lower atmosphere the heat and moisture that fuel tropical storm systems.”

Beryl surpassed a record set by the deadly Hurricane Dennis, which became the earliest Category 4 storm of a season on July 8, 2005. The same year also saw hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in the Atlantic.

Beryl is also the strongest hurricane to pass through the southernmost Windward Islands, which have been impacted by intense storms in the past, including Hurricane Janet, which hit Grenada with 115 mph winds in 1955, resulting in 147 deaths, according to the University of the West Indies. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan struck with wind speeds of 135 mph, killing 41 people in Grenada.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted between 12 and 17 named storms this season, with eight to 13 expected to be hurricanes, and four to seven “major hurricanes,” which are categorized by winds of at least 111 mph.

While Beryl could weaken over the course of this week, it is expected to remain at least a Category 3 storm as it continues its westward path. The hurricane is expected to pass Jamaica on Wednesday, before arriving at the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico on Friday, per the U.S. National Hurricane Center. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti will also experience the effects of Beryl, but they will be further from the storm’s eye.

“After Wednesday, the intensity forecast becomes much more uncertain,” Rozoff says. “At the moment, the National Hurricane Center shows a gradual weakening throughout the week, but people in the path should remain alert to the forecast uncertainty and all watches and warnings.”