Dubai traffic caught in dust storm

DUBAI — The poor visibility level caused by a dust storm in Dubai and Northern emirates yesterday caused traffic chaos with Dubai police alone reporting around 50 traffic accidents until 4pm .

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 11 Oct 2007, 8:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:48 AM

A source from Dubai police said most of the major roads in the emirate were clogged during the day. A number of vehicles rammed into each other due to poor visibility.

According to the Meteorological office at Dubai International Airport, a strong wind of 30 knots per hour picked up sand from the desert, blowing it to the air in the morning. “The storm started at about 10am and the skies were covered in dust during the day. The most affected emirates were Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, S. K. Gupta, duty forecaster at the Met office, told Khaleej Times.

“The morning was foggy with a high humidity level of up to 95 per cent. However, as the day progressed, dusty wind and absence of sea breeze brought down the humidity level to as low as five per cent, resulting in the temperature shooting up to four-five per cent compared to yesterday,” said Gupta.

Gupta said an airfield warning was issued at Dubai International Airport about the strong wind and poor visibility. However, airport officials said the adverse weather did not affect the flight operations. According to Gupta, the conditions improved by afternoon with visibility level going as high as 5,000 metres.

The maximum temperature recorded at Dubai Met office was 39 degree Celsius and a minimum of 25 degree Celsius.

“We are expecting low temperature and humidity in the coming three days. The weather will be more comfortable during Eid time. The chances of rain and strong wind are slim,” Gupta added.

Meanwhile, motorists in Dubai and Sharjah had a tough day on the roads with traffic congestion and poor visibility.

“I could not even see the car in front of me. The air was full of dust coupled with the strong wind. It took me more than two hours to reach Sharjah from Jebel Ali,” said Biju Mathew, a commuter. Mohammed Afsal, a Sharjah resident, said: “It was next to impossible to drive yesterday, especially in the morning. Apart from the dust storm, all roads were clogged. I had to put the head light on for driving.”

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