Huge Sandstorm Blankets Saudi Capital Riyadh

(PKONWEB Report) — A sandstorm blown by gusting winds enveloped a huge area of the Saudi capital on Friday evening keeping people indoor to avoid traffic snarls on the roads.

The Directorate of Civil Defense in Riyadh region has urged everyone to be cautious, after receiving an advanced alert from the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment , (PME) indicating that parts of the region will be affected by active surface winds, which will raise the dust and limit visibility, report local media.

The media spokesman of the civil defense in Riyadh region, Major Mohammed Al-Hammadi said the Directorate has called on everyone to take precaution, follow the appropriate medical instructions for the respiratory system patients in general, and reduce mobility as possible on roads that witness a severe dust wave.

According to the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment, some governorates in Riyadh Province including Al-Kharj, Shaqra and Al-Majma’ah are experiencing strong winds and dust that cause low visibility.

The ministry of health has advised people to stay indoors to avoid the effects of dust. Those who are allergic to dust tend to get asthmatic problems and such cases should be reported to the nearest health facility, the health ministry added.

Dr. Zakir Hussein from the World Polyclinics in Riyadh told Riyadh Daily that those who have respiratory problems should take extra care during these times. “ People who stay in their houses should see that their windows are tightly closed and any minute openings should be covered from dust with wet cloths,” the medical practitioner said.

He also pointed out that the possible after effects of inhaling such dusts include attacks of bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis.

Traffic police cars are seen all over the capital to control the traffic. A police officer on the road said that there are no incidents since the vehicles are less on the road since it is a public holiday.

Shamila Farhen Aboosally, a school teacher said that she saw the roads were full of dust and the visibility was less than 30 meters.

“ The unexpected sandstorm with the poor visibility forced us to cancel a planned outing on Friday evening,” S.H.Moulana a business executive in Riyadh told the paper, adding that many with breathing problems were seen with protective dust masks on. “ Although it slightly subsided late in the evening, we lost the enthusiasm to get out of the house,” he concluded.

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