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A semitrailer on its side in Oaxaca on Tuesday. A semitrailer on its side in Oaxaca on Tuesday.

High winds topple 18 tractor-trailers in Oaxaca’s isthmus

A cold front delivered winds of up to 169 kilometers per hour

Winds clocked at 169 kilometer per hour — equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane — blasted across Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec on Tuesday, causing 18 tractor-trailers traveling on a stretch of the La Venta–La Ventosa highway to roll over.

There were no fatalities or serious injuries in the crashes, state Civil Protection officials said.

The winds also took out trees and billboards as well as roofs off some buildings, authorities said.

State Civil Protection head Antonio Amaro Cancino said the strong winds were the result of a cold front running through the southern and central region of the country.

Emergency officials closed the 15-kilometer stretch of highway to most heavy-cargo traffic following the crashes. As a result, 129 trailers carrying no cargo suspended their travel and waited until the winds died down, Amaro said.

The area is prone to high winds at this time of the year.  The name La Ventosa translates to “the windy one.” The area is also host to wind turbines that take advantage of the fact that it is situated near an unusually warm ocean current which, combined with the area’s temperature and its tendency to see rapid air movement from high to low pressure, results in a strong northern wind.

Already, the highway has seen four other tractor-trailers crash due to winds in the last 48 hours. Another 18 trailers have been blown over in the area during this year’s windy season.

Meanwhile, port authorities responded to the hurricane-force winds by closing marine activity between the cities of Pinotepa Nacional and Salina Cruz due to concerns about the winds provoking dangerously high swells.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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