Residents were terrified as a waterspout formed next to a beach in Indonesia.
Oman Syaefurrochman was at the dock with neighbours when the weather phenomenon formed in Cirebon City, West Java on March 3.
He said: ‘The clouds turned dark and the winds blew strong. We were terrified because it was too big.’
Fisherman Abeng Zeroone was on board their ship when the funnel-shaped waterspout was spotted spinning in the distance.
He said: ‘We immediately stopped our boat and waited for it to leave. We knew it would be dangerous to come near.’
Waterspouts are intense columns of swirling tornado clouds that form over a body of water. They are most commonly found in subtropical areas and disappear shortly after they come into contact with land.
Scientists believe they are formed when warm seawater laden with moisture rapidly evaporates and cools slower than the surrounding dry air. This leads to instability in the air and updrafts.
Shifting winds near the water’s surface then mix with the rising clouds to form a swirling vortex, giving rise to the narrow tornado-like shape cloud.