Tornadoes may not hit Nicaragua with the same ferocity as in Oklahoma, but they can still have a devastating—if usually short-lived—effect.
On Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., one sprang up during a thunderstorm in Masaya and damaged 18 houses, 14 in the indigenous barrio of Monimbó and four in the neighborhood of Camilo Ortega 2. Five homes had their roofs torn off. No one was seriously injured.
An uprooted tree fell on the (thankfully empty) Elena Ortiz schoolhouse. As is usually the case in Nicaragua, neighbors were quick to help out and the Masaya municipal government arrived to repair roofs and bring food supplies to people whose household goods were destroyed.
Nevertheless, the rarity of tornadoes here left everyone shocked by the event.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, it took everything, including the zinc roof and the goods I sell,” said Esperanza Téllez, one of the victims.