Home News Alex, now a tropical storm, inflicts minor damage in Azores

Alex, now a tropical storm, inflicts minor damage in Azores

Published on 15/01/2016

Weather officials in the Azores on Friday canceled their storm warnings after Hurricane Alex skirted the eastern Atlantic islands, causing only minor damage before being downgraded to tropical-storm status.

Alex was a rarity, the first hurricane to form in the Atlantic in January in nearly 80 years, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The hurricane passed 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of Terceira, one of the archipelago’s central islands, according to the Portuguese Meteorological Institute. It said the “eastern group was hardest hit, by wind gusts reaching 110 kilometers per hour.”

Azores officials said some trees had been toppled and roofs damaged, but that no injuries had been reported.

As a precaution, schools and government offices had been closed. Some 30 flights were delayed or canceled, SATA airline reported.

The storm’s 70-mile-per-hour (110 kilometer-per-hour) wind speeds were down from 85 miles (135 kilometers) per hour the day before. Alex was expected to weaken further to a simple depression.

At 2100 GMT, Alex was about 290 miles north (470 kilometers) of Terceira, moving northward at 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

The center reported that Alex was the first hurricane to form in January in the Atlantic since 1938, and just the fourth such January storm in 165 years.

The Atlantic storm season typically runs from June to November.