Tourists on popular Lipe Island got, perhaps, a little more excitement than they bargained for yesterday morning.
At about 10am, Satun Province travelers and locals, alike, were bewildered by the sudden formation of four simultaneous waterspouts over the Andaman Ocean — all close enough to shore to be just a little worrisome.
The exceedingly rare occurrence went viral when Deaw Erawate Nilsakakul, an employee at an identified resort on Sunrise Beach, posted a clip of the four intimidating cortexes on his Facebook page.
“A gathering of waterspouts,” he said, adding that he felt they presented no danger as it was not raining, meaning the storms were, thankfully, unlikely to move inland.
All four waterspouts dispersed in about 20 minutes, according to Thairath.
According to National Geographic, waterspouts are cloud-filled vortexes that occur over bodies of water. There are two types of waterspouts: fair-weather spouts, the more common and rarely dangerous type, and tornadic, the dangerous and destructive kind.
Judging by the behavior of the four static vortexes seen in the clip, these appear to be fair-weather spouts. Though they are associated with developing storms, they are not considered storms themselves.
While fair-weather waterspouts are not out of the ordinary in southern Thailand, Deaw, the resort employee, told Thairath that he had never seen the vortexes so close to land before.
Another video, posted by Facebook user Artikim Tiwleetwinnie, shows a group of perplexed tourists gathering on the shore to watch and film the vortexes with their mobile phones.
(Editor: Is it just us or are these tourists spectacularly calm?)
A few netizens made similar observations.
“I’m used to this by now, but wow! That’s really close to the shore … Beautiful but terrifying,” wrote one commenter.
“Let’s hope they don’t come back to visit us ashore,” wrote another.
For more information about waterspouts and how to conduct yourself if you encounter one, read more on National Weather Service’s website.
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