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Riyadh Sandstorm turns Day into Night

Motorists flash hazard lights to alert other drivers as traffic slows down in the capital during a sandstorm on Saturday afternoon. (AN photo)

Riyadh: A heavy sandstorm hit the Saudi capital yesterday, making the city totally dark after 4 p.m. as it swept through neighboring areas.

“Darkness enveloped the main arteries of the capital city such as Qassim, King Fahd, Khurais and Makkah roads because of the storm which started at about 12 noon,” said Benny M. Quiambao, a Filipino building contractor. Drivers slowed down and switched on their hazard lights as visibility dropped to zero, he said.

Earlier, the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) had warned that a sandstorm was approaching Riyadh with a one-meter horizontal visibility.

Director General of Health Affairs in Riyadh Dr. Adnan bin Sulaiman Al-Abdulkarim, announced at 3 p.m. yesterday that hospitals under the Ministry of Health were ready to admit dust-hit patients.

Other regions like Qassim and Hail had also been affected. “The sandstorm started at 8:30 in the morning in Qassim, followed by rains at about 12:15 in the afternoon. It stopped at about 3:30 p.m.,” said Arnold G. Pineda, a community leader in Buraidah. He added that by 5:30 p.m. the rains had stopped but the skies remained cloudy.

Edmund Nieto, who works for the STC in Hail, said there was no storm in the area. “However, there were intermittent rains and the skies were cloudy the whole day,” he said.

Murad Al-Sagaf, manufacturing director at a Saudi firm in Buraidah, added that in the northern region, it was cloudy with intermittent rains.

…(Arab News)

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February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Weather | , , , ,

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