Huge Swirling Dust Vortex Twister Caught On Camera

Story By: Ana Lacasa, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: CEN

Video Credit: CEN/Karol Tejada

These are startling images of a huge vortex of dust swirling close to a busy road as drivers stop to watch.

The rare phenomenon was filmed in Nueva Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, in the western Guatemalan department of Solola and was labelled a gustnado by the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala.

A gustnado is a short-lived, surface-based vortex which forms within the downburst emanating from a thunderstorm. The name comes from mixing the words ‘gust’ and ‘tornado’.

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Pictures Credit: CEN & CEN/Eddy Pup via Viajeros en rutas

In the video, the huge vortex of dark dust can be seen swirling close to a busy road.

Another clip shows how multiple drivers stopped to record the phenomenon which reportedly lasted for around 10 minutes.

Video Credit: CEN

Official sources report no injuries occurred during the gustnado but the roofs of two buildings were damaged.

Local media report the phenomenon was caused by the high-pressure system conditions currently sweeping Guatemala.

Video Credit: CEN/Eddy Pup via Viajeros en rutas

The authorities have sent warnings to residents in mountain areas to be vigilant as strong winds are affecting the country.

Unlike tornadoes, the rotating column of air in a gustnado does not usually extend all the way to the base of the thundercloud.

Ana Lacasa

I am a senior writer and journalist and editor of the Spanish desk for the Central European News agency.