Weather Blog

Harrowing first-person account of surviving an African 'muduhu' storm

Harrowing first-person account of surviving an African 'muduhu' storm
Esther Gavi took this photo as a west African maduhu storm approached.

It's one thing to be in the middle of a major metropolitan area when a dust storm strikes.

It's quite another to be in the middle of the west African wilderness with two small kids in tow.

A reader of my blog pointed me to this incredible story of Esther Garvi, a woman who took her and two small nieces on what was to be a short horseback ride between two small villages in Niger on a sunny day earlier this summer, but instead turned into quite the harrowing experience.

Part way through their ride, they were engulfed by a sudden "Maduhu" storm that enveloped them with only minutes' warning, plunging them into pitch darkness as they were pummeled by sand and rain.

Garvi says the name Maduhu comes from the Niger word Duhu, which means dark, and the definition of a Maduhu storm.

She says being inside the storm, it's so dark that you cannot even see the light of your torch.

You can read her entire tale and see more of her pictures of the approaching storm on her personal blog.