On Sunday afternoon, March 31, a dust devil in Henan province killed two children and injured at least 20 others at a local fair.
According to China Newsweek, the strong winds whipped through a village in Yucheng county in Shangqiu, Henan, causing mass hysteria as multiple inflated slides soared through the air. The day before the fair, Yucheng County Weather Bureau had issued a blue gust warning.
In a video compiled by Beijing Times, one eyewitness is quoted as saying, “many children were blown into the sky by the mini-twister.” Others described the immediate aftermath as utter chaos, with family members frantically looking for their children.
BBC reported that an eyewitness saw a child fall from 20 meters high, with 18 children and two adults taken to the hospital on the day of the incident.
Watch below to see the chaos unfold (VPN off):
According to a report by Justice News, since this dust devil occured on a bright and sunny day with little to no wind at the time, many people were caught off guard by the rapid change in weather. The Beijing Weather Bureau released an infographic following the fatal incident, noting that dust devils are difficult to forecast given their size and short life period. The bureau went on to encourage people to seek shelter in stable buildings or facilities in the case of a large-scale dust devil.
[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]