Tornado or waterspout: what do we know about the phenomenon recorded in Penco

Tornado or waterspout: what do we know about the phenomenon recorded in Penco

Strong winds affected at least 12 homes in the Playa Negra area, Penco commune. Senapred’s first report warned of a waterspout, however, the Navy refuted the theory and assured it could be a tornado.

It was a little after 5 a.m. when Some violent gusts of wind affected the town of Penco in the Biobío region. So much that Trees, electricity poles began to fall and even the roofs of some houses flew off. So far, at least 12 houses are reported to have been damaged.

The first report of National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred) That was it It may have been a waterspout, but the Chilean navy suggested the phenomenon did not occur at sea.

Instead, the institution explained to The third What the culprit would be a tornado which looks like a waterspout, except it comes from land.

What is the difference between a waterspout and a tornado?

Tornado or waterspout: what do we know about the phenomenon recorded in Penco. Photo: Aten.

What was the phenomenon that affected the town of Penco with strong winds?

Shocking information about what happened in the Playa Negra area, in the municipality of Penco, spread on social networks: roofless and exposed houses, fallen electric poles and different areas without electricity and trees on the ground.

From Senapred, they first indicated that the meteorological phenomenon experienced by the inhabitants of Penco was a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over the sea and travels from the surface toward a cloud.

They have a circular motion and an elongated funnel shape, just like a tornado, but The difference is that they are generated on water. However, they can move towards the land and cause damage, winds of 100 to 400 kilometers per hour and destroy everything in their path.


However, on this occasion, the head of Talcahuano Maritime Meteorological Center Carlos Gaete, stated that What affected homes in Penco was believed to have been a tornado originating from land. . The Navy searched places near the sea and found no affected infrastructure, showing that no waterspout moved from there.

“There is also no trace or testimony of people having seen this phenomenon occurring at sea. Therefore, from a meteorological point of view, this phenomenon would be excluded under the name waterspout.

Continuous: “However, the damage observed on the ground may suggest the presence of a tornado. This investigation corresponds to Chile Meteorological Directorate (DGAC) who will assess the damage and “They will be able to classify it as a tornado or rule it out and classify it as a very powerful wind gust.”


The preliminary classification of the DGAC confirmed that the event It was an “EF-0” tornado, with winds ranging from 105 to 137 kilometers per hour and light damage. “A few fallen shingles and other small pieces of roof torn off, damaged gutters and siding, broken tree branches and uprooted shallow trees. »

Tornadoes can be very destructive. His strength can be such that he can suck up and throw heavy objects and even grounded and exposed people. And they occur when there is a change in the speed and direction of a storm.

Thus, a kind of rotation effect is created and the typical vertical cone is created, due to the rising air moving within the storm.

However, according to the Department of Emergency and Disaster Risk Management of the Ministry of Health , Tornadoes have a very short life expectancy: they rarely travel more than 10 kilometers.

Source: Latercera

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