North African sandstorm ‘Madar’ disrupts life in Saudi Arabia

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A dust storm sweeping across Saudi Arabia hit Jeddah early Sunday. (AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi)
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A dust storm sweeping across Saudi Arabia hit Jeddah early Sunday. (AN photo by Arkan Al-Adnani))
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At sundown, the sandstorm in Jeddah and nearby places have yet to abate. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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A dust storm sweeping across Saudi Arabia hit Jeddah early Sunday. (AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi)
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A dust storm sweeping across Saudi Arabia hit Jeddah early Sunday. (AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi)
Updated 20 March 2017

North African sandstorm ‘Madar’ disrupts life in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Sandstorm “Madar” is expected to continue disrupting traffic and daily routines in many areas in the Kingdom on Monday, with visibility expected to drop below 2 km in several areas, according to the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection (PME).
Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are predicted in Asir, Jazan and Najran while the wind speeds are expected to hit 55km.
Weather changes have caused flight delays and cancelations and school closures.
The dusty weather in Jeddah and other areas in the Kingdom is caused by a sandstorm that hit the Libyan desert in the past few days, and then passed through Egypt.
“We are in a transitional phase when changes in weather are expected,” Hussein Al-Qahtani, a spokesman for the PME, told Arab News.

The move from winter to spring is expected to bring rapid weather changes, strong winds and fluctuations in temperatures in the coming days, he added.
The PME issued a red color-coded warning “of severe meteorological phenomena” on Sunday due to the Madar sandstorm in some regions, including Madinah, Makkah and Riyadh. The visibility in these regions along with Al-Jouf, Tabuk, the Eastern Province and the Northern Border is expected to drop below 2 km.

“Jeddah’s case is the lowest on the scale of climate severity,” Al-Qahtani said. Yet some schools sent students home due to fears the weather conditions would worsen. Such conditions can be particularly risky for those suffering from respiratory allergies and asthma.
Dr. Hanan Fan, consultant pulmonologist at a public hospital in Jeddah, told Arab News that students with respiratory problems should take precautions if they go to school on a dusty day.
Fan advised people with asthma to stay home in such weather, keeping their windows closed. They also need to use preventer inhalers when necessary. If any dyspnea or persistent coughing occurs, a visit to an emergency unit is advised.
“In case of leaving home, you have to use the preventer inhaler 10 minutes earlier to avoid your condition (worsening) and turn into an asthma attack,” Fan said. “And, of course, don’t forget to cover your nose and mouth to stay on the safe side.”


Saudi technical students to showcase skills at global contest

Updated 46 min 49 sec ago

Saudi technical students to showcase skills at global contest

  • ‘WorldSkills’ started in 1950 after the head of the Spanish Workers Union called for the organization of the first national vocational competition in Madrid

MOSCOW, Russia: Saudi students and experts will be showcasing their innovative skills in aircraft maintenance and welding during the “WorldSkills” competition to be held in Kazan, Russia on Thursday. 

The competition will run for six days and will see the participation of representatives from 75 countries.

“This is a biennial global competition during which more than 700 young men and women from 75 countries compete in 56 various categories,” said the CEO of Colleges of Excellence Dr. Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijri. 

The competition will run for six days and will see the participation of more than 700 young men and women from 75 countries. (SPA)

“The competition covers industrial and service professions with the highest international standards to promote technical and vocational training and raise awareness about the impact of such training.

“This competition aims to shed light on the importance of technical skills, encourage young people to acquire them, discover their skills and develop them and find cooperation opportunities among contestants and different sectors,” he added.

Those who qualified from international technical colleges and strategic partnership institutes were: Idris Abduljalil Al-Haji from the International Aviation Technical College (IATC) in Riyadh, Hassan Hussain Al-Rashid from the Saudi Technical Institute for Petroleum Services, aircraft maintenance expert Ibrahim Khalid Yamani from IATC, and welding expert engineer Ghazi Mohammed Al-Mustanir from the Saudi Technical Institute for Petroleum Services.

“Saudi students impressed the participants during previous local and international competitions,” Al-Tuwaijri said, adding “Yamani was chosen as the best aircraft maintenance expert during the 2017 competition held in Abu Dhabi.”

“WorldSkills” started in 1950 after the head of the Spanish Workers Union called for the organization of the first national vocational competition in Madrid.