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Frontal system affects the central area

This Tuesday morning, the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalveheaded a technical table together with the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred) for the meteorological alerts decreed for the central area of ​​the country, by virtue of the frontal system that was already being felt at that time in some sectors.

Undersecretary Monsalve explained the characteristics of the meteorological phenomenon, assuring that it is “precipitation that comes from the south to north. It has already left the regions of Los Ríos, La Araucanía, it is leaving the Biobío Region, therefore, it is moving north and will affect during the course of the afternoon particularly the Maule, O’Higgins, Metropolitan and Valparaiso.”

Regarding the characteristics of the rainfall, Monsalve explained that it is “normal to moderate” rains, whose main characteristic is that They will occur in short periods of time, which makes these precipitations constitute a risk event.”

In some sectors of the Metropolitan Region (RM), up to 25mm of water could fallbut in a period of less than 12 hours, according to the undersecretary.

Rain in the central area. Photo: Sebastián Cisternas/Aton Chile.

Monsalve explained that they would present themselves two additional climatic conditions to the frontal system: “eventually it will fall rainwater or snowfall in pre-mountain and mountain sectors during the afternoon in the Valparaíso, Metropolitana and O’Higgins Regions. It was already happening in Maule,” he said.

The second event that could occur is related to electric storms, those that would be concentrated in coastal sectors of Maule, Ñuble and Biobío.

Santiago, July 10, 2023. Snow in the Cajon del Maipo. Traffic on route G-25 continues to be suspended. Francisca Carlini Castro/ Aton Chile

The undersecretary explained that the government and emergency services are carrying out monitoring and surveillance work, since there are “risks” in the event of precipitation. Among these risks, he highlighted the mass movements that could mainly affect the victims of the February megafire in Valparaíso; the possible overflow of river channels and the low temperatures that are approaching.

“One of the main risks is mass displacement,” said Monsalve, ensuring that although there is concern in all areas, the attention is focused on Valparaíso. “There are 15 risk polygons in the Valparaíso Region that have been identified,” said the undersecretary.

The authority detailed that the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) is monitoring another risk factor, related to the overflow of river channels, as well as the flooding that can cause rains.

In this regard, the MOP minister, Jessica Lopez, He pointed out that “human action” and “climate change” are factors that cause these complications. “The problem with climate change is that With these violent rains in a short period of time they generate all kinds of destruction and prevents the earth from absorbing properly,” he indicated.

Monsalve assured that they expect temperatures that could reach 0 degrees, so the “Blue code” under which care for homeless people will be strengthened. Furthermore, the undersecretary stated that the Ministry of Social Development is already “taking strengthening measures” in that matter.

For his part, the governor of the RM, Claudio Orregowarned that “this is the first rain of the season, so the floors are more slippery, we can have branch detachments that generate electrical outages, which is why we ask people to report them quickly.”

From the Meteorological Directorate of Chile, specialist Andrés Moncada, explained that until noon this Tuesday they had fallen about 3 mm in the center of Santiago. “We are waiting for the frontal system to enter and the precipitations intensify in the RM, especially after 1 p.m. indicated, stating that “until 8 p.m. would be the highest intensity, where we could have in a peak of 5 millimeters per hour”, he indicated.

Furthermore, Mondaca explained that the zero isotherm will be around the 1,100 meters, so that snow water could fall even up to 900 meters, that is, in the upper sectors of Lo Barnechea, Las Condes, La Reina and Peñalolén.

Photo: Lluvia/Aton Chile.

On the other hand, in the San José de Maipo sector, up to 10 cm of snow. Other sectors where it could snow are the communes of Los Andes and San Felipe in the Region of Valparaiso.

Regarding the projections, Moncada highlighted that “No new rainfall is projected in the central zone, However, we have a quarterly forecast that indicates that This year rainfall should be below normal and the temperatures are also below normal, so in general this winter should be dry and cold”.

According to the Chilean Meteorological Directorate (DMC), until 2:00 p.m. this Tuesday, 3.0 mm of rain had fallen in Santiago, while in some foothill sectors of the RM, such as San Carlos de Apoquindo in Las Condes and Farellones in Lo Barnechea, snow was recorded.

The situation was repeated in other foothill areas, such as It costs La Dormida, route that crosses the Coastal mountain range between the regions of Valparaíso and Metropolitana, which had to be cut as a result of the climatic event.

In the town of Coya In the O’Higgins region, it also snowed, so some routes also had to be interrupted.

The Cuesta La Dormida. Photo: Carabineros.

Other effects that were recorded as a result of the frontal system were related to the electricity. In several sectors, MRI the power went out, Even some traffic lights were not working for several minutes.

However, from 2 p.m., interruptions in the electricity supply increased, reaching at that time 243,728 customers affected nationwide, a figure that increased in the following hours. until reaching 291,897 clients at 6 p.m., of which 246,580 belong to the Metropolitan Regionaccording to data from the Superintendence of Electricity and Fuels (SEC).

In the country’s capital, the communes that registered the highest number of homes without electricity were Maipu (37,768), Quilicura (30,964) and Pudahuel (24,925).

Likewise, in the commune of Santiago, the traffic light at the intersection of Avenida Viel and Rondizzoni suffered an electrical outage, while La Pintana, the device at Santa Rosa and Santo Tomás, saw its operation affected, a similar situation that was replicated at other intersections. from the city.

As Undersecretary Monsalve explained in the morning, this frontal system will be accompanied by low temperatures for Wednesday, May 8, when the rainfall stops.

“This frontal system that will affect the regions during the course of today’s afternoon will later be accompanied by a system of low temperatures, starting tomorrow, Wednesday, May 8“said the authority.

According to MeteoChile, on Wednesday temperatures in the central zone could reach less than one degree.

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