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Locals in a remote part of the Western Cape believe they have witnessed a TORNADO on their doorsteps this week – and viral video footage seems to back up their claims. However, no official confirmation has yet been given by weather authorities.

Tornado Swellendam Western Cape
The tornado in Swellendam was witnessed on the afternoon of Monday 26 September 2022 – Photo: Rita Oosthuizen

WATCH: Supposed tornado rips through Western Cape

Footage from outside a farm in Swellendam was shared on Twitter yesterday. Is shows a spiralling spout of debris stretching imperiously towards the sky, whizzing round at a dizzying pace. Fierce winds can be heard at the scene, as observers keep a safe distance.

‘Extreme weather event’ reported in Swellendam

Another angle, shared on Facebook by Langeberg Bulletin, is just as daunting. Huge plumes of dust can be seen swirling on a patch of rough rural ground, creating a dome-like shape in the middle of a field. The visuals here are like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster.

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If not a tornado, what else could it be?

If it looks like a tornado, and acts like a tornado… surely we can assume that it is one? Alas, weather-heads are going to have to wait a little while longer for full confirmation. The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is still studying the footage, and an update will be issued in due course.

Western Cape resident Henry McDonald also shared the footage online.

However, he refrained from outright branding this event as a tornado. Reserving judgment, the inquisitive bloke also mused that we could be looking at a ‘Dust Devil’ instead – which is described as ‘a small whirlwind or air vortex over land, visible as a column of dust and debris’.

Whatever it was, we’re just grateful that no-one in the Western Cape has been reported hurt…

“This appeared in the district of SWELLENDAM on Monday afternoon. Although a tornado is being mentioned, another opinion says it’s a DUST DEVIL. But what is the difference between a Dust Devil and a tornado? All sounds ominous nevertheless.” | Henry McDonald

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