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Sweeping sand makes driving difficult in UAE

The wind was so strong that it forced a heavy red and white road divider (right) on to the Al Khail Road (Supplied)

By VM Sathish and Muna Ahmad

Hazy weather conditions with blowing sand and dust storms have been severely affecting visibility in different parts of the UAE on Saturday.

Because of strong winds, people have been advised to stay away from beaches as waves are high and the sea is rough and choppy.

Strong to moderate fresh wind is predicted by the UAE National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS). It's weather forecast for the day said the atmosphere will be partly cloudy in general with chances of rainfall in the northern and eastern parts of the UAE. “There will be a significant fall of day temperatures over most areas. Moderate to fresh winds in general, strong over the sea, and causing blowing dust/sand over the internal and the open land areas.".

Meanwhile, motorists said they faced visibility problems at selected pockets on the Emirates Road and Al Khail Road where heavy sand and dust storms was witnessed. “It was a tough time driving through the Emirates Road, because the sandstorm was very strong in some places and the visibility was very poor. I had to reduce speed and put on hazard lights in some places to wade through the storm,” said Chandrakanth K, a motorist.

He said the road was not crowded as it is Saturday and many offices are not open.

“I found a couple of the huge red and white road dividers kept on the roadside forced on to the main road by the heavy wind. The road dividers are in fact quite heavy, but the sand storm was so strong that it forced it across an entire lane and blocked it,” said Mohammed Suhail, another motorist, driving through Al Khail Road.

Motorists should be cautious and avoid driving at high speeds because the sandstorm can affect visibility. It can also buffet the car causing reduced control and could and cause accidents, NCMS said. It also advised residents to stay away from the sea because of treacherous conditions.