Sandstorm engulfs parts of Saudi Arabia with rain expected at the weekend

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Temperatures are due to dip below zero. (Supplied)
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Temperatures are due to dip below zero. (Supplied)
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Temperatures are due to dip below zero. (Supplied)
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Temperatures are due to dip below zero. (Supplied)
Updated 18 January 2019
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Sandstorm engulfs parts of Saudi Arabia with rain expected at the weekend

  • Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region
  • Sub-zero temperatures are expected

RIYADH: A sandstorm engulfed parts of the Kingdom on Thursday, enveloping the skyline with dust and hampering visibility in some cities in the Eastern Province.

The General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection has forecast more such storms and low visibility between Wednesday and Saturday across the Kingdom, as well as light to moderate rain and snowfall to the north, which will lead to a substantial drop in temperatures in places, including Riyadh.

According to forecasts, mercury levels could drop as low as -3 degrees Celsius.

Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region, including Al-Kharj, Shaqra, Zulfi, Dawadmi, Afif, Aflaj and Wadi Al-Dawasir.

High speed wind and dust are predicted during the day time.

According to the forecast for Riyadh, especially areas north of the city, mercury levels will drop on Friday and Saturday, while wind speed reached up to 27 km/h in the capital on Thursday.

Residents in the Eastern Province, Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, Al-Jouf, Hail, Al-Qassim and Najran also experienced dusty weather.

Amid volatile weather conditions, the Civil Defense has advised motorists to slow down due to continued low visibility.

In other news, residents across parts of the Kingdom will be able to view a partial lunar eclipse just before dawn on Monday.

The eclipse will be 90 percent visible in Tabuk, half visible in Madinah, a third visible in Makkah and only marginally visible in Riyadh


King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

Updated 17 min 36 sec ago
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King Salman invites Indonesian centenarian to perform Hajj

  • The man said he and his family can’t financially afford to perform Hajj
  • He was welcomed by the Saudi ambassador to Indonesia

DUBAI: King Salman has invited an Indonesian man, who is reportedly 140 years old, and his family to perform Hajj, the Saudi embassy in Jakarta said on Wednesday.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy mosques invites elderly Indonesian man and his family to perform Hajj,” the embassy tweeted.

The centenarian sent his appeal to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a video, asking the Saudi rulers to invite him and his daughters to perform Hajj for the first time, as they were unable to afford it on their own.
Social media users shared his video, in which he and two of his daughters explained their situation in Arabic

The man was hosted by Saudi ambassador to Indonesia Esam Al-Thagafi in Jakarta, who broke the good news to him.
The Saudi rulers saw the video and Hajj authorities will take care of their travels and necessities, Al-Thagafi told the man and his family.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and Muslims should aim to perform the ritual at least once in their lifetime.