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Saudi Arabia

Sandstorm hits vehicular traffic in Riyadh

RIYADH: A thick layer of sand covered the city’s skyline on Saturday with a heavy blanket of dust caused by strong winds hampering visibility and creating traffic snarls on busy roads.
The traffic department advised motorists to drive slowly and exercise caution like use of headlights as darkness enveloped the main arteries like King Fahd Road, Khurais Road and Riyadh-Makkah and Riyadh-Madinah highways.
The bad weather, however, had no major impact on the air traffic in the capital as flights were on schedule, officials at the King Khalid International Airport said.
“The air traffic was normal and there were no cancelations or delays due to bad weather,” an official told Arab News.
The Civil Defense department also had an incident free day at the time of filing this report.
The Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) had issued an alert about the dusty weather and sandstorm approaching Riyadh with a one-meter horizontal visibility. It has forecast that parts of Riyadh will be partly cloudy with chances of light drizzles or showers.
The maximum temperature was recorded at 44 degrees Celsius on Saturday while the relative humidity was 15 percent.
Sandstorms are frequent during the summer in central Saudi Arabia. A freak eight-hour sandstorm hit Riyadh in early April this year causing chaos on the city’s streets and the cancellation of all flights at King Khaled International Airport.
The high-velocity winds and poor visibility saw hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport. All incoming flights were diverted to neighboring countries including Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

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