The residents of a small town in the Western Downs of Queensland are staggering by a whirlwind that tore part of the roof from a local hall and said it hit almost without warning.
« There was no thunder, there was no lightning anywhere, there were no storms, » he said.
« Then we saw it come into the hall. You could see the roof quiver, then it tore off a quarter of the roof. «
The hall, built around 1950, is one of two in the community and is used for dance and social events.
« You can see all of the exposed wood and all of the broken iron, » he said.
« You have to judge all of this, either fix that section or take the whole roof off – or judge the whole hall completely.
Mr Cielo said a car parked in front of the hotel was also full of sand after the event, which suddenly ended.
« If only a whirlwind does what if a big storm hits it right? It will take the whole crowd away. « . «
Livio Regano of the Bureau of Meteorology said the description was consistent with what the forecaster would call a « dust devil, » which he compared to a dry-weather tornado.
« It usually happens in late spring when the soil gets hot and after a very long dry spell when there is enough dust to reveal the funnel.
« A lot of these dust devils go unnoticed, but sometimes you get a really powerful one that’s enough to cause damage. «
« [People should] make sure there are no loose objects around that can get caught in the draft and turn into projectiles. And stay inside. «
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AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, 10 hours before GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)
Queensland, Bureau for Meteorology, Flood, Storm
World News – AU – The city of Queensland staggered as the « incredible » weather phenomenon of the dust devil tore panels from the roof
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