July 17, 2023 -CNW News -In northwestern Puerto Rico, a small and rare tornado made a brief appearance, leaving behind damaged homes and triggering a landslide, according to officials on Monday.
The tornado touched down in Aguada, a coastal town, on Sunday afternoon. The US National Weather Service confirmed the occurrence of the tornado and stated that they would assess the extent of the damage to determine its classification.
No injuries were reported.
Aftermath of northwestern Puerto Rico tornado
According to reports, the short-lived tornado caused the uprooting of trees, brought down power lines, and tore off the roof of at least one residence before dissipating over the sea.
Videos circulating on social media captured the intensity of the heavy winds, with palm trees bending and debris swirling in the air, accompanied by the alarmed voices of onlookers.
Tornado history in Puerto Rico
According to the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s database, a total of 24 tornadoes have been recorded in Puerto Rico since 1950, including the one that occurred on Sunday.
However, the majority of these tornadoes have had minimal impact, as confirmed by Emanuel Rodríguez González, a meteorologist from the US National Weather Service.
The most powerful tornado in recent decades struck the town of Arecibo in May 2022, with wind speeds ranging from 86 mph to 110 mph. This destructive tornado caused roof damage and brought down numerous trees and power lines.
Rodríguez highlighted the combination of strong afternoon thunderstorms, typical for the area during the summer months, and the heavy sea breeze, along with the region’s topography, as potential factors contributing to the formation of the small tornado.
Experts from the US National Weather Service traveled to Aguada on Monday to assess the tornado’s classification.