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Tornado Seen on Gajah Mungkur Dam in Indonesia's Central Java

January 21, 2021, 04.18 PM – A tornado occurred near the Gajah Mungkur reservoir in Wonogiri regency in Indonesia's Central Java on Wednesday, January 20. No damage has been reported. 

"It's true. I have checked with our volunteers,” said Head of Wonogiri Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Bambang Haryanto, referring to a video of the tornadic waterspout that went viral on social media.

Bambang explained that the whirlwind incident occurred at around 15.30 pm and it lasted about 15 minutes.

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"It was seen in the middle of the reservoir, heading west, then before reaching the residential areas, it (the tornado) returned to the south," he said.

He added that there were no reports of damage to property or fatalities.

Climatology Agency explanation

Head of the Data and Information Section of the Climatology Station at the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) in Semarang, Iis W Harmoko, also confirmed that it was a tornadic waterspout.

“A waterspout is a tornado that occurs over the ocean. It is the same case when it occurs above the reservoir,” he said.

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He further added that the appearance of a waterspout was influenced by cumulonimbus clouds. This cloud also raises the potential for extreme weather such as hail, tornadoes, or heavy rain to strong winds.

Before the incident, Central Java’s BMKG has issued early warning information on the potential for moderate-heavy rain, accompanied by lightning and strong winds. These areas include Selogiri, Ngadirojo, Waduk Gajah Mungkur, Nguntoronadi, Wuryantoro, Manyaran, and Kota Wonogiri.

The Waterspout Appearance

These are amateur videos captured by some Indonesian netizens, who have recorded the incident. Videos courtesy of repostwonogiri Instagram account. 

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A post shared by WONOGIRI (@repostwonogiri)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by WONOGIRI (@repostwonogiri)

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