In what is usually a rainy and wet period in Bogota’s winter month of November, freezing temperatures overnight created chaos in Colombia’s capital of Bogota where residents awoke to snow and sleet covering the ground. According to some reports, the snow accumulated up to 19 inches in some areas of the city.
In various parts of the city, including the heavily trafficked Avenida Caracas, traffic accidents clogged roads as residents struggled to handle the icy weather. City workers tried with little success to remove the ice, lacking tools in a city that has only rarely seen ice and snow accumulation.
In the city’s Chapinero section, transit has become impossible as residents await the arrival of emergency crews to rescue their vehicles.
“It’s terrible! Bogota isn’t prepared for this. 53rd street is completely blocked and firefighters still haven’t arrived“, a resident told local media this morning.
The city told reporters that 16 vehicles have been rescued thus far, and that there have been roof collapses in more than 21 residences. However those were still preliminary reports of damage.
Christian Euscátegui, who manages IDEAM, the city’s meteorological service, spoke with BLU Radio and explained the phenomenon.
“November is the month with the second most rain in the country, and normally that means heavy precipitation. The wind, however, changed direction and humid air from Magdalena collided with incoming humidity, generating clouds that caused heavy rain“, he said. The clouds also lowered temperatures in the region, allowing for the ice and snowfall.
Euscátegui said that he believed that the phenomenon could continue, meaning that there could be more icy roads in Bogota this month.