VIDEO: Massive dust storm blankets Brazilian cities - GulfToday

VIDEO: Massive dust storm blankets Brazilian cities


A massive dust storm is seen engulfing a neighbourhood in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. AFP

Gulf Today Report

A massive dust storm engulfed several areas of Sao Paulo, Franca, Ribeirao Preto, Aracatuba, Barretos and Presidente Prudente on Sunday afternoon. Brazilians shared images and videos on social media.

The dust storm hit cities in Minas Gerais on the border with Sao Paulo, such as Planura, on the banks of the Rio Grande.

Videos circulating on social networks show the city of just over 12,000 inhabitants being swallowed by the dust storm in the late afternoon.

Planura is about 180 kilometers away from Franca.

According to reports from residents, visibility was low and forced merchants to shut their shops and doors.

Shortly after the big cloud, it started to rain which helped to dissipate it. Due to the drought that hits the region, residents undergo water rationing.

A user shared a video and complained: “Sandstorm now in Franca (SP). Animals are getting here. No rain, water rotation, up to 2 days without tap water”.

According to meteorologists, the phenomenon is common in Asian countries, where it is known as "haboob".

It is caused by storms of rain with strong winds that, when they come into contact with dry soil, find traces of burning, dust and vegetation, which end up creating a dirt "steam roller" that can reach up to 10 kilometers in height.

Satellite images showed that the municipality of Franca registered intense winds of up to 60 kilometers on Sunday.

The region was also under alert for storms with up to 30 millimeters of rain per hour and risk of hail, such as the one that hit parts of Sao Paulo the day before, damaging  crops, falling tree branches and flooding.

Experts explained that this is a natural event due to weather conditions.

The researcher also points out that it is more characteristic of countries in Asia and not as common in Southeastern Brazil.

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