As far as I know, the peculiarity of martian storms as of today is not the violence, it's the dust.
Mars atmosphere is thin, much less dense than Earth, it means very low pressure, less gas molecules, etc... so the energy of the air mass in motion is a lot less than here. According to NASA, "The winds in the strongest Martian storms top out at about 60 miles per hour, less than half the speed of some hurricane-force winds on Earth".
Dust, on the other hand, goes everywhere and covers anything. It clogs mechanical parts, decreases solar panels efficiency.
I have an asthmatic reaction only by the thought of it!
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