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Severe storms produce massive sandstorm and damaging hail in central Argentina


A line of severe storms struck central Argentina on Friday, December 18, 2020, producing a massive sandstorm, powerful winds, and hail. Widespread power outages and property damage were reported.

In La Pampa, an enormous sandstorm caused extensive power outages, water disruptions, and a lot of damage, particularly in the Santa Rosa area. Powerful winds knocked down trees and destroyed stalls in the central square.

"The gust front generated an impressive sandstorm with frightening images," said Metsul Meteorologia. 

Meteorologist Nacho Lopez Amorim of the National Meteorological Service of Argentina described the images as "apocalyptic."

In Cordoba, heavy rains and strong winds also caused property damage, including poles and trees. In Las Higueras, many roofs were torn, but no casualties were reported, according to Claudio Vignetta, the Secretary of Risk Management and Climate Change. 

However, an elderly woman sustained injuries on her head after being hit by a fallen branch.

Rio Cuarto Fire Services head Guillermo Rafti added, "The very strong winds caused a large number of trees to fall in different sectors of the city, broken lighting, and downed cables."

Due to fallen poles, residents in the city lost access to power. Provincial Energy Company of Cordoba spokesperson Alfredo Camponovo assured customers that the company's staff will visit the affected sectors to check and reestablish service. 

"In these types of circumstances, the safety of the population is prioritized. Our staff is already working to restore the service in the shortest possible time."

Featured image credit: Metsul Meteorologia

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