We have updated our Privacy Policy to provide you a better online experience.

Freak Tornado Catches Uruguay Unaware

A rare and deadly F3 tornado struck the city of Dolores, Uruguay, killing five and injuring hundreds — AG missionary asks for prayers.

On April 15, 2016, an F3 tornado ploughed diagonally through Dolores, in southwest Uruguay, destroying much of the small city within a matter of minutes. Tornadoes are so rare in this South American nation that, upon spying the funnel cloud bearing down on them, curious residents walked toward the cloud, staring and taking pictures.

Five people were killed and 250 more were injured in the storm. As the twister roared through Dolores, cars were hurled through the air (killing two of the storm’s five victims) and at least 400 homes, businesses and churches were destroyed. Power outages and troubles with health and electric services reportedly left the city of 20,000 in a state of overwhelmed chaos. A state of emergency was declared.

Immediately following the storm, AG missionary Michael Mills, who lives in Salto, 150 miles to the north, headed toward Dolores to determine how best to help. Initially delayed by flooding and further tornado watches, he arrived to find much of the city destroyed and blocks of homes without roofs.

“Basically this tornado left Dolores looking like a warzone,” Michael observes. “Now they are trying to rebuild. We can do it. We can pray and we can believe that God is going to do a mighty thing restore hope to the people of Dolores. We need your prayers.”


Image used in accordance with CC BY 2.0 license. Photo credit: nssl0210, Flickr

Kristel Zelaya

Kristel Zelaya is a freelance writer and editor with global experience. She served as marketing manager for Assemblies of God U.S. Missions and as a writer and editor for Assemblies of God World Missions. These experiences have led her to numerous countries and cultures — far from beaten paths — on behalf of many who did not know how deeply their stories matter. Zelaya is also a licensed Assemblies of God minister.