28 October 2007

Storm and blackout season

The first storm of the season arrived in Rosario last Friday, October 26, at about 7:15 PM. If this is going to become the norm for mid-Spring and summer (and it certainly looks like it), we're in for a lot of trouble. At least we didn't get hail, like last year. Yet.

For some strange chance, I left home for Japanese school earlier than usual. I had hurried a bit in order to have a chance to go with my camera and take some sunset pictures before the class began. I packed my umbrella just in case. I realized I wouldn't be able to take pictures because it was cloudy, and I also realized I was hungry, so I left the camera at home, and when I arrived at the school, I sat down at the shokudō and asked Alicia-san for a piece of her delicious ricotta cake and a carton of juice to wash it down and cool myself (it was like 30 degrees!) while I waited for sensei to come.

Five minutes later I heard a loud whoosh outside, then another, and then all hell broke loose. It was as if a million giant rain machines up in the sky had been turned on at once. Gusts of wind over 100 km/h forced us to close the windows. Thunder and lightning shook the walls.

The fluorescent lights flickered and turned off for a couple of seconds while we were in class, then came back again. At 9 PM the class was over and it was still raining, though not heavily. I was wearing sandals, so I got my feet wet, but nothing else. As a classmate and I stumbled over broken tree branches, paddles filled with dirty water and leaves, and unexpected holes in the sidewalk, we saw an uprooted tree leaning against a house, and severed power cables dangling from the lines.

I got back to a pitch-dark neighbourhood lit only by passing cars and by the occasional shop that held on using a portable generator. At home, my family was having dinner with candles — nothing romantic about that.

The blackout lasted more than I'd expected, and in fact longer than any other previous blackout I can remember. Power came back after 25–26 hours. On Saturday I had plans to do a photo tour (I'll tell you about that later) and I had to visit a friend to charge the battery of my camera in his house. Since pictures are worth several orders of magnitude more than words, I'll let you see by yourselves.

Después de la tormenta II

Después de la tormenta III

Después de la tormenta IV

Después de la tormenta V

  • La Capital: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
  • Rosario3: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Rosario/12: 1.
  • La Nación: 1.
  • Clarín: 1.
  • 26Noticias: 1.
  • Taringa! (with nice pictures): 1.
  • YouTube video: 1.

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