Nepali scientists record country’s first tornado

People inspect storm damage at Bhaluhi village in Bara district, Nepal.

A tornado caused widespread damage in Nepal in March.Credit: Narendra Shrestha/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A deadly storm that tore through Nepal almost two weeks ago was the country’s first ever recorded tornado, say researchers there. A team identified the extremely rare event in southeast Nepal without the aid of typical tornado-detecting instruments, instead relying on satellite images, analysis of social-media posts and a visit to the affected area.

The government says 28 people died and more than 1,100 were injured in the storm on 31 March, which also damaged about 2,600 buildings and a national park that is listed as a World Heritage Site.

The storm shifted slabs of concrete 50 metres, which requires a massive amount of power not typical of storms observed in Nepal, says Dhiraj Pradhananga, a meteorologist and president of The Small Earth Nepal, a non-governmental organization in Kathmandu. “We don’t even have a Nepali word for tornado,” he says.

posted Apr 13, 2019, 6:51 PM by Shifu RC

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