Maui News

Several small children suffer minor injuries from Makaha dust devil

April 21, 2010, 2:46 PM HST
* Updated April 21, 3:31 PM
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Several small children suffered minor injuries when they were lifted from the ground by a dust devil.  The incident was reported earlier today at Makaha Elementary School on the island of Oahu.

A preliminary Local Storm Report from the National Weather Service notes that eyewitnesses reported the incident.  Emergency managers in Honolulu reported 60 mile per hour wind gusts in the Makaha area of Oahu at 10:40 this morning.

The National Weather Service describes a dust devil as a dust-filled vortices, created by strong surface heating.  They are generally smaller and less intense than a tornado, but can have wind speeds in excess of 60 mph.

Typical diameters of dust devils, according to the National Weather service, range from 10 to 300 feet, with an average height of approximately 500 to 1000 feet. The NWS website says dust devils typically last only a few minutes before dissipating, however they sometimes for tens of minutes, under optimal conditions.

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