May 18, 2024
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By Yalilé Loaiza

These strange formations could be caused by an atmospheric instability

Several houses owned by the Cooperativa Realidad de Dios, located in Monte Sinai to the northwest of Guayaquil suffered serious damage due to the strong winds and funnel clouds that were registered. According to the National Institute of Hydrology and Meterology, (Inamhi), this event may occur again due to atmospheric instability and warm conditions in the ocean.

After learning about the incident, a team of damage assessment and needs analysis experts from Guayaquil’s City Hall visited the cooperative to evaluate the impact of the funnel cloud.

Monte Sinai, a region with high levels of poverty and a rapidly growing population, is considered a marginal zone by the government. The loss of zinc roofing will therefore have an economic impact on those who are affected. Some will have to spend a whole month’s wages on repairs.

Inamhi said that funnel clouds were rare at this time. The impact of the winds was also affected by the vulnerability in some roofs.

The entity responsible for monitoring the climatic conditions and the atmosphere in Ecuador has stated that the wind speed could be between 70-80 kilometers per hour on certain days. Most intense winds will be felt in the Amazonian regions of the east cordillera. Weather alerts have been issued for the Andean Provinces of Carchi Imbabura Pichincha Cotopaxi Tungurahua Bolivar Canar Azuay Loja and Bolivar.

Inamhi reports that Pichincha and Imbabura will experience high ultraviolet radiation on Wednesday 19th July.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, a funnel cloud (also known as a cold air funnel) does not usually reach the earth. This phenomenon is caused by unusually cold altitude air. They are less violent when they touch down and form small tornadoes.

According to Inamhi, funnel clouds are observed in the shape of a needle or cone. They originate from a large mother cloud and contain a lot of water. This causes strong winds and heavy rain. This category of clouds is vertical, with an air column rotating out of their core. They appear as an inverted conical shape.

Ecuador has set aside USD 266 millions to contain the El Nino effects. This budget must be funded by 14 institutions. Most of the money is expected to come from the Ministry of Education: USD 90 millions. The Risk Management Secretariat is expected to receive USD 75,5 million. USD 32,9 million are allocated to Ministry of Agriculture. USD 21,3 million to Ministry of Health.

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