MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s main port of Montevideo on Thursday remains closed to all seagoing traffic and the country’s weather institute has declared an orange alert for eight central and southern provinces due to heavy winds, officials told EFE.
The capital’s port has been closed since 6:35 pm on Wednesday and no vessels may dock or set sail until port operations recommence, which will only be when the storm has abated, port authorities said.
Another of Uruguay’s most important ports, in the city of Colonia del Sacramento, the main terminal for maritime transport of passengers and vehicles to Buenos Aires, also informed EFE that operations had been suspended due to the storm.
Navy spokesman Gaston Juansolo said on Radio Uruguay that the port of Juan Lacaze, in the southwestern province of Colonia, is not operating either and the situation is being evaluated to decide what measures to take at the country’s other sea terminals.
The Uruguayan Meteorological Institute on Wednesday declared an orange alert for eight provinces that will be maintained until 6 pm on Thursday due to “very strong winds,” with gusts of up to 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) per hour along the country’s southeastern coast.
Specifically, the warning is in effect for the provinces of Canelones, Lavalleja, Montevideo, Florida, Treinta y Tres, Maldonado, Rocha and San Jose.
The navy spokesman said that Montevideo is experiencing sustained winds of about 75 km per hour, although windspeeds of 100 km per hour are possible, while in the eastern portion of Uruguay the windspeed could be higher.
On that basis, Juansolo recommended that no vessels put to sea for the next 48 hours, despite the fact that the storm is expected to begin to abate on Friday morning.
Local media have reported some fallen trees in the capital as a result of the storm, but Fire Department spokesman Mariela Vivone told the press that – so far – no serious situations have been reported to her department.