How to survive a sandstorm
A sandstorm can strike swiftly and be crushing if a strong wind seeps under the sand and raises deadly sandy whirlwinds that do not allow normal breathing into the air. Here are some tips on how to survive in such a situation.
1. Listen to your local weather forecast. Sandstorms can now predict with good accuracy. If one of these natural wonders is in your way, then there is no need to heroism - go around the storm side. Be that as it may, keep in mind that raging sand can travel at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour, so you should not put yourself at extra risk in trying to escape from inevitability.
2. If you understand that you cannot avoid a collision with the elements, try to provide yourself with maximum protection. Cuddle together with other members of the group as tightly as possible to each other. If you find yourself in an open area, grab your hands. If possible, try to climb a hill - here it will be more difficult to get to the sandy wind. If the storm is also accompanied by a thunderstorm, then you should avoid high sections of the terrain - stay in the lowland.
3. If you are in a car, you need to get off the road and turn off the headlights, otherwise other cars in poor visibility conditions may mistakenly get out of the way and hit your rear bumper. Lift the windows and close the air intake.
4. If you are in an open area, then carefully cover your legs, as the lower extremities are most vulnerable to sanding.
5. Cover your mouth and nose with a wet cloth and, if possible, lubricate the nostrils with petroleum jelly. In addition, it would be nice to somehow protect your eyes.
6. Find some large relief detail, such as a stone boulder, that you could hide behind. Just do not try to use the leeward side of the dune for this purpose, since everything can end with your burial in the sand - you must agree - a slightly ironic turn of events.
When the dust storm in Arizona happened
On July 9, 2018, residents of the US state of Arizona experienced the strongest sand storm in many years, which, according to eyewitnesses, was very reminiscent of a “rehearsal of the apocalypse.” In order to marvel at the power of the elements, watch the video below.
The video was recorded by Mike Albinski - this man calls himself a storm hunter, so that, be sure, he knows a lot about such natural phenomena. Commenting on the grand dust storm in Arizona, Mike admits that at some point even he became scared.
“I have seen everything, but this storm ... It was just something - I did not even suspect that this happens at all. The picture I saw as the storm approached resembled a picture of the apocalypse. In general, I am deeply impressed, ”says the expert.
What is a dust storm
A dust or sand storm is a phenomenon of the transfer of a huge amount of sand and dust by strong winds, which is accompanied by a sharp deterioration in visibility. As a rule, such phenomena originate on land. These are arid regions of the planet, from where powerful air clouds of dust carry the air currents into the ocean. Moreover, presenting a considerable danger to humans mainly on land, they nevertheless greatly worsen the transparency of atmospheric air, making it difficult to observe the surface of the ocean from space.
Causes of dust storms
The thing is in the terrible heat, due to which the soil dries out strongly and then in the surface layer breaks up into microparticles picked up by a strong wind.
But dust storms begin at certain critical values of wind speeds, depending on the topography and soil structure. Mostly they begin at wind speeds in the range of 10-12 m / s. And on loessial soils, weak dust storms occur in summer even at speeds of 8 m / s, less often at 5 m / s.
What disasters can a sandstorm cause?
Huge clouds of reddish reddish sand and dust, raised from the surface of the earth by dry, hot and fast air currents, carry death. So, in 1805 a dust storm completely covered sand with a caravan of two thousand people and the same number of camels. The same story befell the Sahara in 525 BC. e. the legendary army of the Persian ruler Cambyses II: a terrible sandstorm halfway stopped the military expedition, killing about fifty thousand soldiers.
What to do if caught in a storm
Having noticed the first signs of an approaching storm, you need to immediately stop: to continue driving is useless, this is an extra waste of energy, especially since a sand storm rarely lasts more than four hours. Even if the wind does not calm down for about two to three days, it is better to wait in one place and not go anywhere. Therefore, all supplies of water and food must be kept near you (especially water, otherwise complete dehydration of the body is ensured, and this always leads to death).
Having stopped, you must immediately begin to seek shelter. It can be a large stone, a boulder, a tree, near which you need to lie down on the leeward side and completely wrap yourself in the matter. If there is an opportunity to hide in a car, it must be put in such a way that the wind does not blow in the door. In the worst case, if no shelter is nearby, you need to lie on the ground and cover your head with clothes (Bedouins in such cases dig something like a trench).
It should be borne in mind that when a sandstorm begins to fly, the temperature indicators of air at this moment will be about fifty degrees, which can lead to loss of consciousness. Breathing at a time when tons of sand are flying overhead, you need only through a handkerchief, otherwise the smallest particles will fall into the respiratory tract.