GUWAHATI, March 16 - A dust-raising storm lashed the city today, making life miserable for the people. However, the Borjhar-based Regional Meteorology Centre (RMC) maintains that it has recorded westerly wind of 10 nautical-mile to 12 nautical-mile speed. One nautical mile is equal to 1.852 kilometres. But to become a dust-raising storm, a storm should have a minimum speed of 20 nautical miles, sources in the RMC said.
A dust-raising storm requires a wind blowing at the speed of 20 nautical miles to 25 nautical miles to become a dust storm in the true sense of the term, said the RMC sources.
However, in the heart of the city, dust-raising wind continued to harass the Guwahatians throughout the day � irrespective of their remaining indoors or outdoor. The speed of the wind was severe in the morning hours and its speed decreased gradually towards the later part of the day.
According to the RMC sources, a wind with the speed of around 12 nautical miles was recorded by the RMC at Borjhar at 2.30 pm today, while the Centre recorded a wind blowing at the speed of 10 nautical miles around 5.30 pm today, the sources said.
Sources said that the rainless condition prevailing in the city for the past several days together with the sunny days, led to today�s condition.
It needs mention here that westerly wind, locally known as pachowa, is the normal wind that sweeps the NE region during this pre-monsoon period, which is the ideal pollination period for the NE flora species. It is also a period of contagious diseases like measles, small pox, cold and cough, various enteric diseases, etc. Westerly wind plays a major role in spreading many of these contagious diseases.
Today, people by and large had to wear face masks or cover their faces with clothes to protect themselves from the dust storm.