[VIDEOS] Waterspout Near The Penang Bridge Looks Just Like A Mini 'Tornado'

Videos of the incident have gone viral on social media.

Cover image via Penang Kini/Penang Lang

People in Penang were treated to a rare sight when a waterspout resembling a mini twister was spotted near the Penang Bridge yesterday, 28 March

Image via Penang Kini

Many who were out on the road during the rush hour at 6pm were fortunate to have caught a glimpse of the waterspout

Excited eyewitnesses quickly took videos and photographs of the rare occurrence and uploaded them on social media.

Needless to say, fascinated netizens quickly shared those videos and photographs and they immediately went viral.


Posted by 我来自槟城 Penang My Hometown on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In the video above that was also circulating on WhatsApp, a man can be heard excitedly explaining the phenomenon in Hokkien and English.

Quite a number of motorists stopped by the side of the bridge to capture the moment on their camera

However, it is noted that drivers shouldn’t wait nor stop on the bridge deliberately to take photographs as this puts themselves and others at risk.

"Under no circumstances bridge users are allowed to stop on the bridge and this is made known through various signages installed on the bridge," PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) said in a statement earlier in January.

It's definitely not a view that Malaysians can see every day

Puting beliung kelihatan dari jambatan pulau pinang. Hati2 kepada semua yang menunggang motosikal dan memandu kereta. #ayatskema #setsetlam

Posted by Safeeya Chew on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What is a waterspout?

Image via Penang Lang

To put it simply, the waterspout is a column of rotating air that forms over water. There are two main types of waterspouts, namely tornadic waterspouts and fair-weather waterspouts.

"Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning," US' National Ocean Service (NOS) explained.

On the other hand, fair weather waterspouts, which form only over open water, are much more common than the tornadic waterspouts. They are usually small, relatively brief, and less dangerous.

Although it's a rare phenomenon, this is not the first time a waterspout was spotted in Penang

A waterspout that was spotted in the North Channel of Penang back in 2015.

Image via Danial Saad via NST

Incidents of waterspouts were recorded in different parts of the Pearl of the Orient in the last few years.

The Star Online reported that two waterspouts were spotted in Kampung Perlis and Pulau Betong last November.

Two years ago, on November 2015, waterspouts were also spotted in the North Channel and the coast of Butterworth.

Have you seen a waterspout before? Comment below to share your experience with us.

More spectacular photos of natural phenomena that happened in Malaysia in the last year:

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