Winds Up to 122 km Per Hour Lead Rio to Declare State of Alert
Strong winds hit Rio at the end of the afternoon on Sunday (the 21st) causing traffic snarls and energy outages in several neighborhoods, including the region around the Maracanã stadium where the Olympic closing ceremonies are taking place.
At 9:25 p.m. the municipality went to a state of alert, due to "the effects caused by very strong winds in the city". At 8 p.m. in Copacabana, winds were reaching 122.8 kilometers per hour.
A section of Atlantic Avenue was closed in the early evening due to risks to the temporary structures built for the Games. With the wind, rain and cold, the avenue was practically deserted at nighttime after days of heavy traffic and movement by tourists.
A gale knocked down tree branches and left many points in the city without electricity. In the Maracanã region, there were localized reports of outages, including the stadium itself.
A little while before the beginning of the ceremonies, corridors located under the bleachers had a brief power outage. The problems haven't affected, at least so far, the closing ceremonies.
The wind blew over some of the barriers installed around the stadium. The E and F entrances to Maracanã were closed as soon as the rain started, forcing spectators to use Gate D. Due to the changes, the public had to endure a little more distance in the rain and wait in longer lines.
According to Rio's Operations Center, in addition to Atlantic Avenue, ten other streets were partially interdicted and one was completely closed down due to tree branches that had fallen.
The forecast for Monday (the 22nd) calls for cold, rain and moderate winds in the city. City Hall has declared Monday a holiday to facilitate the exit of athletes and tourists who came to Rio for the Olympics.
Translated by LLOYD HARDER