Tornado in Dolores in Uruguay – RRF Nr.2/2016

On Friday, 15 April at 16:30 h. a tornado struck the city of Dolores, in Soriano Department. Dolores is 15 km. from the Uruguay River in the southwest of the country. No meteorological warnings were received. Dolores has about 20,000 inhabitants. The tornado, considered as Force 3, divided the city in two, from West to Northeast, destroying everything in its path in a swath 800 m. wide. Three schools, one daycare center, two public secondary schools, one technical institute and a hospital were seriously damaged by the storm, as were approximately 1,200 houses and other buildings. Some structures continue to be at risk of collapse. Electricity had not been restored at the time of this report (April 20), and no estimate is yet available as to when service will be restored. It is estimated that one third of the population has been affected. To date, 4 deaths, twelve persons missing and more than 500 injured have been reported. Most of the casualties were children who were in classes when the storm hit. Furthermore, the San Salvador River, on whose banks Dolores is built, has flooded because of heavy rains that have been falling for the last 20 days. This means that those who have suffered flood damage must be added to the number of people that have suffered death, injury or property damage because of the tornado. Houses located along the banks of the river, as well as those located in the river’s flood plain are under water. If the rains continue, both the tornado victims and the flood victims will have little chance of saving any of their household belongings. In addition, the flooding may lead to the spread of the water-borne diseases typical of these situations. Communication has not yet been restored; the tornado destroyed the communication tower of ANTEL, the state telecommunications provider. Cell phone batteries cannot be recharged because electricity is not available.


RRF_04_2016_Tornado in Uruguay_RRFs2