A Tornado on the Caspian.
The special correspondent of the Daily JNezvs, writing from Gumuche Tepd on March i, says that in consequence of a raid made by the T®kke cavalry on a large Yamout village, on the direct line ’between Chatte- and Tchikislar, and not far from the latter place, General Mouravieff has given orders for the raising of a force of i,ooo Yamout horsemen i-among the neighboring friendly Jaffar Bays. _ The new levies will be stationed out in the plain, to, give timely warning of the approach of raiding parties, and protect the flocksscatteredoverthe steppe. The correspondent adds that in addition to the 700 Russian troops previously mentioned, 200 more had arrived, so that the preliminaries of the expedition appeared to have at length commenced. He described a? tornado which br.ke. over the place where he was staying. The din throughout the village -was amazing. Dogs, their tails between their legs, ran about howling dismalty. Men and women hurried to and fro with poles and ropes, shouting and screaming, and the activity of the water-carriers knew no bounds. The latter were securing a supply before the water o the river became undrinkable through that of the sea being forced up the channel, a result which follows .ten minutes after the commencement of the storm. Meanwhile, to uninitiated eyes the weather seemed not in the least likely to undergo a change. The sun was as hot and the sky as clear as before. Flocks of sea birds, however, flew screaming inland, and far out over the Caspian a narrow, snow-white streak was vissible. It resembled the steam from a railway-engine. It rose rapidly, the upper edge torn into jagged fringe known to sailors as “ catspaws."” The wind, which had been blowing from the east, suddenly veered about to the opposite direction ; and ere long the sea was completely shut out from view by the drifting vapour, mass. Then the storm burst over the village with a sudden violence that was terrific. Had the inhabitants, been taken unawares as sometimes happens at night, when the premonitory signs cannot be observed in time, not one of the frail huts would have been left standing. That in which I was staggered and shook in such a fashion that I feared each moment that its frail birdcage-like framework would go to pieces.' Some camels laden with hay, which were out on the plainwhen the tornado burst, had their loads scattered into the air in a moment, the animals themselves crouching close to the earth to avoid the violence of the tempest. All day and night long its fury continued unabated, and even now, on the morning following its commencement, the wind and rain show no abatement.. Under the combined action of the westerly gale and the natural current, the river is on the point of overflowing its banks within the village. Before evening we shall have the entire place flooded if the storm continues. On such a coast as this, where ships are obliged to come into very shallow water in order to get any ways reasonably near the shore, the danger of these sudden and violent tempests is very groat. I should not be surprised to hear of some shipwrecks having occurred during the present one, which came on so unexectedly in the midst of fine -weather.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 195, 18 November 1880
A Tornado on the Caspian. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 195, 18 November 1880
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