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Little Drizzle Means Big Trouble in Desert City

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Geysers in Chile's Atacama Desert
Geysers in Chile's Atacama Desert


Late last month, less then 1/100th of an inch of rain fell in the desert city of Iquique, Chile. Typically, drizzles don't make headlines, but when a drizzle damages roofs, shuts down schools, and even knocks out power, the press -- and bloggers -- take notice. Located in the heart of Chile's Atacama Desert, Iquique AVERAGES only roughly 0.02 inch of precipitation a year. Buildings and infrastructure are made to handle the sun, not rain; not even 1/100th of an inch. Vast and uniquely beautiful, the Atacama Desert is said to be the driest desert on earth. In some areas no precipitation has ever been recorded. The Associated Press elaborates about this peculiar wet-weather episode.

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