- Title: ARGENTINA: Severe hailstorm in Argentina injures many
- Date: 28th July 2006
- Summary: (BN12) BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (JULY 26, 2006) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HAIL PELTING CARS AND PEOPLE (4 SHOTS) MAN RUNNING THROUGH HAIL
- Embargoed: 12th August 2006 13:00
- Location: Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Weather
- Reuters ID: LVA3OL6HHRTVGVCZKK9L89SA5GPJ
- Story Text: Thousands of homes have been damaged and 14 people injured in Buenos Aires, after hail the size of golf balls racked down on the Argentinean capital on Wednesday (July 26).
The sudden storm erupted abruptly, darkening the early afternoon sky and catching many pedestrians and drivers unaware.
The Health Ministry reported that most of those injured suffered blows to the head, but none were seriously hurt.
Thousands of homeowners have been forced to use tarpaulins to cover broken windows and roofs, and cars with broken windshields and dented panelling are a common sight throughout the capital.
Car owners are now faced with waiting patiently in line for repairs. Taxi drivers, delivery services and couriers are the most urgent cases, with many of them unable to use their cars for work.
The hail storm only lasted about 30 minutes, whereas elsewhere in the country truck drivers and foreign tourists have been waiting for six days now for snowstorms to subside in order for them to cross the Chilean border.
The Cristo Redentor Tunnel is the main pass that connects Argentina with Chile, and over 5,000 trucks have been stranded at the border since snow drifts of up to two metres shut down the route.
National emergency relief forces were hoping the weather would be clear by this Friday (July 28), but the situation now appears to be deteriorating.
"The conditions are still worsening and we are seeing snow storms in the area this Thursday with visibility practically zero. All of this has practically put to waste all of the work that we carried out during the early morning today. The road will be was closed to all types of vehicles while the National Guard machines are working," Gendarmeria Commander Carlos Branca said.
The Argentinean Transport Authority has recommended all traffic be redirected to the SamorÃ© pass in NeuquÃ©n, or the far-north Jama Pass, in the Argentinean province of Jujuy.
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