I looked at the floods in the Atacama Desert some months back, although I missed the more recent and ‘unprecedented’ second occurrence although it is hardly surprising and may have been something that happened during the Little Ice Age.
Chile’s Atacama Desert is known as one of the driest places across the entire globe, and when it was slammed with nearly ayear’s worth of water in a 12-hour period (0.9 inches, in comparison to the annual average of 0.13), flooding took almost 30 lives and left many more homeless and injured.
Following the frightening effects of the flash flooding – in addition to more that occurred in August – the Atacama’s normally bone-dry landscape was lashed with rain.
In wake of the tragic events, the desert’s terrain has been littered with pink mallow flowers, coasting the large plains with an explosion of color.
“The Atacama region was punished, but also blessed by the phenomenon of a flourishing desert, something that happens only after the rains, this time brought about by El Niño and climate change,” Daniel Diaz, National Tourism Service director in Atacama, expressed to Spanish international news agency EFE.
“The intensity of blooms this year has no precedent,” he added. “And the fact that it has happened twice in a same year has never been recorded in the country’s history. We are surprised.”
An estimated 20,000 tourists are expected to travel to the Atacama to see the blossoming for their own eyes before the landscape returns to its normal form in November.
For the full article and the stunning video see: