It ripped off the roofs of some houses and fell several trees.
A rare waterspout damaged at least 50 houses in the town of Tanjung Tokong in the Malaysian state of Penang on Monday.
The spout was seen spinning near Tanjung Tokong’s shores for about five minutes before it briefly arrived on land.
It ripped off the roofs of some houses and fell several trees at about 1.35pm, said a Penang Civil Defence Force spokesman, adding that there were no injuries reported.
“We are currently busy clearing the debris from houses which were ripped off by the storm,” the spokesman told reporters.
Residents took to social media to share images of their close encounter with the waterspout. Zinc roofs were seen being blown off some buildings.
Penang today. Waterspout pic.twitter.com/fmvtqN7JGD— Syafiq KP (@syafiqkp) April 1, 2019
UAE’s Met department, NCM, also took to social media to explain the phenomenon.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist.
Waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.
Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado.
Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. A fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity. They form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.