Mexico hailstorm: Freak hailstorm buries Guadalajara in 1.5m of ice


A freak hailstorm has buried a major city in Mexico under 1.5m of ice — leaving dozens of drivers trapped and damaging buildings.

Roads were completely blocked after hail and heavy rain bombarded Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco state in western Mexico on Sunday.

Piles of hail reached as high as 1.5m in some places, with Rancho Blanco and the Industrial Zone the worst affected areas.

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media_cameraThe freak hailstorm buried Guadalajara in Mexico under 1.5m of ice. Picture: Ulises Ruiz/AFP
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media_cameraDrivers had to be rescued from the roofs of their cars. Picture: Ulises Ruiz/AFP
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media_cameraA man with a bike walks on hail. Picture: Ulises Ruiz/AFP
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media_cameraGuadalajara is one of Mexico’s most populous cities. Picture: Ulises Ruiz/AFP

Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez said he had “never seen” such a heavy blitz of hail in the area before.

“I went there to evaluate the situation and I witnessed scenes which I had never seen before: hail accumulation more than a metre high, and then we wonder if climate change exists,” he said.

“Then we ask ourselves if climate change is real. These are never-before-seen natural phenomena,” he said.

Some streets were transformed into rivers of dense moving hail and several people had to be rescued from the roofs of their cars.

Numerous cars were damaged after being buried under the piles of hail. But officials said there were no reports of any injuries or deaths.

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media_cameraA bulldozer is used to remove the hail. (Picture: Jalisco State Civil Defense Agency via AP
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media_cameraThe hail damaged hundreds of homes. Picture: Jalisco State Civil Defense Agency via AP
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media_cameraCars are piled up after the hailstorm hit. Picture: Jalisco State Civil Defense Agency via AP

‘UNPRECEDENTED’ HAILSTORM

Emergency workers and city employees, with assistance from the army, worked throughout the night and morning to clear the city road.

Several residents said Sunday’s hailstorm was “unprecedented” in the region.

The hail hit as a new tropical storm formed far off Mexico’s southern coast.

The US National Hurricane Center said it was likely to reach hurricane strength, though without threatening land.

Tropical Storm Barbara was centred about 1370km south of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula on Sunday.

It is heading to the west-northwest into the open Pacific Ocean at 25km/h.

The Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 64km/h, but it’s expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday.

As Mexico is bombarded with wild weather, nearby California is baking in highs of 38C.

It’s so hot that mussels are cooking inside of their shells as they sit in low tides at the Bodega Bar in northern California.

Originally published as ‘Never seen before’: Incredible hailstorm



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