Written by Lahiru Fernando
21 Apr, 2016 | 4:39 pm
A student in China was injured during a sports event in Guazhou Country, north-west China. However, the injury was not caused during an event / sport but as a result of a “Dust Devil” which lifted the child up, making him fall on to the ground later.
The first of the three whirlwinds formed among the students, measuring up to 30-40 meters high with two to three meters in diameter.
“We immediately started to evacuate the students. But in a very short time, the second round of the dust devil arrived,” said Fang Fang, teacher of the Yuanquan Primary School.
The second whirl was faster and larger, blowing Clothes, schoolbags and books in the air. The it was the third whirl which made the most impact as it arrived while the teachers were in the process of evacuating the students. It was then a student was lifted high up in the air.
The student suffered minor injuries in the head and is being treated in hospital.
What is a “Dust Devil”?
A dust devil is known by different names in different regions / countries. In the South-west USA it is called a “Dancing Devil”. In Australia it is called a “whirly-whirly” while in Egypt it is called the “Ghost’s Wind”.
A Dust Devil’s primary motion is upward and is a strong and long-lived whirlwind. It ranges from a meter wide and a few meters wide small whirls to a large whirl which is over 10 meters wide and 1000 meters tall.
Dust devils are usually harmless but on its worse day, which is a rare occasion, can grow large enough to threat both people and property.
Though a Dust Devil can be compared to a tornado, the devil form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado.
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