Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sonora sandstorm causes minor damage but puts on major show

A spectacular sandstorm toppled trees and utility poles in Sonora on Thursday, but no casualties were reported.

The state government said Friday that trees and poles came down in Guaymas and Empalme, municipalities on Sonora’s Gulf of California coast. Authorities also said that parts of the municipality of Hermosillo were affected by the storm.

Sandstorm in Sonora
No casualties were reported, but the storm did damage trees and utility poles, and put on a visceral display of nature’s power in the Guaymas and Empalme municipalities. (Screen capture)

There were electricity outages in both Guaymas and Empalme due to damage caused by the meteorological phenomenon, which was captured in photographs and videos posted to social media.

The government said late Friday morning that power restoration in both municipalities was 55% complete and that full service was expected to resume in the afternoon.

The Sonora Civil Protection authority said on Twitter that its personnel helped to remove obstacles from roads after the storm passed.

Among the locations affected by the sandstorm was San Carlos, a beach town about 20 kilometers northwest of the port city of Guaymas.


“It got really apocalyptic,” San Carlos resident and Twitter user @Rada_SC wrote above an image of sand sweeping across the sky.

He said that “extremely strong gusts of wind with dust darkened everything and took … [his] drone,” which he managed to “miraculously recover.”

Governor Alfonso Durazo urged residents in affected areas to not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary and to remain calm.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, “sand and dust storms usually occur when strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere.”

The United Nations said last week that severe sand and dust storms were becoming “increasingly common, with UN climate experts attributing the rise to human-driven causes such as climate change and unsustainable farming practices.”

“To combat this, the UN has designated 12 July its first-ever International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms,” it added.

With reports from Infobae and El Sol de Hermosillo 

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