The biggest hail storm ever recorded in Bogotá

Trying to rescue people trapped in cars

Photo by edahurtado/Flickr

Hail in Bogotá
Photo by lilianazombie/Flickr

On Saturday, a lot of rain and hail fell all over Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city. According to IDEAM, Colombia’s meteorological institute, the blame goes to La Niña, which will cause even more rain until January 2008. Most of the city became white around 3 p.m. Downtown, the water level, which reached 1.5 metres, trapped 20 cars; 100 people had to be rescued.

The first day of Rock al Parque festival, which began yesterday, had to be cancelled due to the heavy rain. There were no casualties, but some people were treated of hypothermia, since almost no one was wearing warm clothes, despite the fact that the rainy season started a month ago. Others where wounded by the ice balls. On Sunday, rescue and firemen teams were still taking ice out from building basements.
Rock al parque festival

Photo by asdrubalcolombia/Flickr

Despite its tropical location, there are hailstorms somewhat often in Bogotá. Nevertheless, yesterday’s was the hugest I’ve ever seen… on TV. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I was at home, northwest Bogotá, and though there was a heavy rain, we didn’t have more hail than usual here… which was one of the few parts of the city which didn’t turn white.

There are a lot of pictures of this event, from Italian newspaper La Repubblica to a lot of “Flickrs” and YouTubers. Some bloggers, like Gabriel Muelle, have referred to this event, maybe thinking this was the so-called “hecatomb” (translated as ‘catastrophe’ in some media outlets but with several puns possible in Spanish language) which would make president Álvaro Uribe seek a third term in office. Is this a “punishment from the Gods”?

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6 responses to “The biggest hail storm ever recorded in Bogotá

  1. Pingback: Campus Comunicativo » Blog Archive » .: De paseo por Blogs Colombia

  2. Pingback: equinoXio » » Bogotá, de hecatombe en hecatombe

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Colombia: Large Hail Storm Rocks Bogotá

  4. I was in Bogota on Saturday and left for my 2pm flight in blazing sunlight, cursing myself for wearing a leather jacket because it was so hot out. Although the weather had been cooler and rainier the past few days and there was what I suspected was hail in the afternoon rain at Parque 93 a couple days earlier, it had to have been 80 degrees when I left. My airliner flew through thick clouds on the way out but they didn’t seem to be anything special. Imagine my surprise to read in El Tiempo the next day that by 5 pm, a mere three hours after my flight departed, the whole city was hailstorm white and covered in slush and snow! I’m still freaking out at what I missed by mere minutes. I tell you, it was nothing like that when I left! It was hot!

  5. That is OD, some of those pics are messed up!!!!!!! How long did it take to clean that place up?!?!?!?!?

  6. Annalise, the “ice” melt somewhat quickly, and the cleaning job was mostly because of the cars and people stuck and also because of the dirt water caused when melt. On Monday, Bogotá looked as usual.

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