'Twister' sighting whips up a storm on social media

'Twister' sighting whips up a storm on social media

JOHOR BARU - Images and video clips of an alleged 'twister' in Johor went viral online on Wednesday evening.

Facebook and Twitter were abuzz, with many expressing alarm after the twister, later revealed to be a water spout, was sighted along the waters off the Lido area here at around 4pm.

Student Mohd Aqil Mohd Faiz, 17, said he first spotted the weather phenomenon at around 4pm while driving along Jalan Skudai here.

"It just appeared out of nowhere and I could clearly see it from my car," he said, adding that it was both exciting and scary to witness the phenomenon.

Hasliana Mohamed, 33, said she saw it from her office at the Hospital Sultanah Aminah at around 4.40pm.

"I saw it forming followed by strong winds. I felt frightened and quickly rushed to my car to drive back home," she said.

Meanwhile, an official from the Meteorological Department confirmed that the occurrence was in fact a water spout.

"Water spouts are a normal occurrence especially during thunderstorms.

"Unlike twisters or tornadoes, water spouts usually occur above the water and the winds from it are not as strong as twisters," he said.

He added that the Department received several calls pertaining to the occurrence, but there was nothing registered on their satellites.

"We then analysed pictures and videos pertaining to the incident and confirmed that it was not a twister but a water spout," he said.

The spokesperson added hat water spouts appeared only for brief periods and urged residents to remain calm.

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