Massive sandstorm shuts Kuwait airport
Kuwait was struck by a massive sandstorm on Friday evening, causing major disruptions and forcing the civil aviation to shut down the airport.
"In view of bad weather conditions, dense dusty storm, and strong winds blowing in the country, all incoming flights were transferred to nearby airports while all outgoing flights were halted until weather conditions improve," Isam Al Zamil, the head of operations at the airport, said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
Earlier, the authorities warned that the dust storm reduced visibility to less than 500 metres and that in some areas, "there is no visibility at all."
According to uncomfirmed reports hundreds of people were stuck in malls as dust and sand prevented people from driving.
The condition is due to a dusty storm kicking up northwestern wind at a speed of more than 50 kilometres per hour, KUNA said.
Jameela Mohammed, a 55-year-old Kwaiti woman living in Salwa area said that the sand storm started in the late afternoon .
"Fortunately it started when we were at home. One cannot go outside . I asked all my sons to stay indoors. The weather is too bad. You can't see anything outside. The dust has reached inside the house. I don't know how . We closed all the doors and windows but the strong winds managed to get inside with dust. We are covering our faces with wet towels to prevent breathing the dust. I am worried for my grandson because he has asthma and he is at risk. We hope it pass by quickly. We are too scared."
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