Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil's Sao Paulo turned white by freak hailstorm

Children tried to make icemen with the frozen water Image copyright AFP
Image caption Children came out to play with the ice

An unusually heavy hailstorm in Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, has brought residents out onto to the streets to play with the ice it left behind.

For many of them, it was the first time they had seen huge ice balls littering the streets of the subtropical city.

The hail left many roads flooded or coated in white.

The ice lingered until Monday morning in many gardens in the Aclimacao neighbourhood.

The Centre for Emergency Management said on Monday that the storm had dumped 10 cm of moisture on the city.

The news is welcome as Sao Paulo had been enduring a long, dry spell.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Adults and children enjoyed playing in the ice
Image copyright AFP
Image caption With the city lacking snowploughs, bulldozers had to take on the job of clearing the streets

In April, the city's main reservoir fell to its lowest level on record.

Sao Paulo has seen plenty of hail in thunderstorms, but the thick layer of ice which accumulated on this occasion was unusual.

Snow has not been seen in Sao Paulo since at least the 1970s, and some sources say not since 1918.

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