Okay, it happened 4 days ago. I should have blogged about it sooner but after my Sept. 19th post called "Gone with the wind", I wondered if anyone really wanted to read another weather post. Then I remembered, hey, some of you readers like to keep up with what's happening here in Uruguay so here it goes.
Only 1 month after our big wind storm of September, the Meteorological department started to issue, on Saturday, some warnings of an impeding storm due in a few days. Heavy rains and winds were forecast.
|Satellite Image of the evolution of the storm.|
Due to winds and torrential rain, in the town and area of Artigas, 30 people were evacuated along with a long list of other people in other places.
|Piriápolis, main road/rambla washed over by waves.|
Despite being on "RED" alert, nobody could imagine that on Monday the 22nd of October, Rocha would experience the phenomena of a Tornado touching down! According to the newspaper EL DIARIO, at about 5 o'clock in the afternoon a 300 meter wide (1/5 of a mile) tornado appeared. It broke 2 houses apart and caused a horse to fly away! Sadly it crushed a calf as well. 14 people were left homeless there. Amazingly despite much destruction, no human lives were lost. Hurricanes and Tornados are not usually experienced down here in Uruguay. Strong wind and gusts, yes. We also experience short bursts of heavy rain sporadically, along with a lot of frightening thunderstorms, but a tornado and last month's Tropical storm were unusual.
As mentioned we were only on Orange alert in Canelones so thankfully for us it wasn't as bad. Wally can sleep through anything but since we still have 3 tall pines trees right outside our bedroom window I found it hard to relax and sleep during some of the powerful wind gusts that came during Monday night.
The beach by our house showed the effects of the wind and rain. The water was blacken, full of wood bits and who knows what. While I didn't see a flying horse go by, the odd sight of a dead chicken being washed back and forth by the surf made me stop and pause (later, Wally made a lame joke about "Chicken of the Sea" the name of a North American canned tuna brand).
Dead Cat fish, from some stream were washed onto the shore and sadly lots of discarded used plastic bags which was proof that using canvas/cloth tote bags for shopping can help the environment. What surprised me was that we've never been as fully warned about the use of and proper discard of string and rope as an environmental aid. I have never before seen as much jute, string and rope as I did laying on the beach after the storms aftermath.
My normal route to the beach using a little foot path had to be circumvented because the wind and waves of the storm had caused a sharp sand-shelf drop off. I was too much of a wimp to go leaping off the short ledge. About 2 houses further up the street away from me is a concrete set of stairs built by the city down to the beach so I decided to used those.
I realize that I must still have "a glass half-empty" mentality left over from North America. After a week of moping inside because of rainy windy weather, I was delighted to be walking in the sun shine again. However, I just couldn't enjoy this nice day at the beach as littered and kinda stinky as it was. Still the Uruguayan people have a way of enjoying what they can, where they can. I couldn't help but take a photo of how many were really enjoying the day at this same beach. The difference in attitude must be the result of all that mate drinking, which I haven't gotten a taste for yet.
|The beach littered with after storm debris|
|The town of Atlántida in the background|