Weather on Tenerife: The Aftermath of Cyclone Xynthia

Posted: April 5, 2010 in Uncategorized
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The devastation took us by complete surprise; it was if a nuclear wind had ripped through the forest. Where there had once been a dense wall of pines, there were bare totem poles; the naked trees had been stripped of their branches.

At first we thought there must have been a fire, but the trunks weren’t blackened. Many of them looked as though they’d simply been snapped in two as though some immense force had broken them in half as easy as if they’d been matchsticks.

And then realization dawned. This was the aftermath of cyclone Xynthia hitting Tenerife; this shredded forest was her doing.

We hadn’t driven on the road from Puerto de la Cruz to Mount Teide since the storms in February, but time was long overdue for us to complete the research for the last walk for our Teide National Park walking routes. Although we’d known that the road had been shut because of the damage, we were unprepared for the extent of the destruction. An area of forest between Aguamansa and Teide National Park looked like a post apocalyptic landscape. The misty cloud drifting between the bare trees only added to a dramatic scene which had the impact of a fist to the solar plexus.

Further evidence of Xynthia’s malevolent attack was provided by the metal crash barrier bordering the road. Every few feet it was buckled and squashed where huge trees had fallen, or been thrown against it.

In reality the damage seemed to be constrained to one particular area. Like the fire a couple of years ago, the winds had chosen a very clearly defined path through the forest; so much of the beautiful carpet of trees in the La Orotava Valley remains intact. But that one area…wow.

It was an incredible scene and all credit to the authorities for clearing the roads as fast as they did.

Oh and by the way if anyone needs firewood…

  1. martin says:

    I hope you will include La Fortaleza in your Teide walks. I did this l;ast Christmas and the gravel/sandy plain at the foot of La Fortaleza was a stunning surprise after a relatively easy walk.

    Now, admittedly I did find this in another guide book, and I did take a wrong turn on the way back so that I ended up at the Visitor Centre instead of Las Canadas, and that was not a fun walk along the road.

    The only other downside was that the cloud was “in” so that there was no view from the Riscos de la Fortaleza.

  2. larly says:

    We saw the devastation when we were on a family holiday at Ritz-Resorts.
    It was terrible – but fortunately the threes are still growing and in a few years it will be back to normal.

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