The past weekend’s precipitation blocked highways, forced the cancellation of a top Chilean football match and damaged the homes of 1,800 people, said Vicente Nunez, chief of the Interior Ministry’s national emergency office.
A similarly wet stretch in early July dumped four years’ worth of rain in one day on coastal Antofogasta. That was just a quarter of an inch (more than 6.3 millimeters) but it was still enough to cause collapsed or leaking roofs in homes and businesses that usually have no reason to protect themselves against even minimal precipitation.
…Average annual rainfall in the northern city of Arica is so low that it would take 50 years to accumulate an inch. This July, the city was swamped twice by what would be considered mild showers almost anywhere else on the planet. So far this year, Arica has had 0.13 inch (3.4 millimeters) of rain, more than six times its yearly average during 30 years of record keeping.