Flight operations halted as dust storm blankets Kuwait

Commercial planes will be rescheduled

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Pedestrians cross a road amidst a severe dust storm in Kuwait City on May 23, 2022. Photo: AFP
Pedestrians cross a road amidst a severe dust storm in Kuwait City on May 23, 2022. Photo: AFP

By Agencies

Published: Mon 23 May 2022, 4:18 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 May 2022, 4:33 PM

Kuwait's Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced the temporary suspension of flights at Kuwait International Airport due to a dust storm.

A thick orange haze has blanketed Kuwait on Monday, and flights to and from the country's international airport has been affected, the civil aviation regulator said.

The massive plume of dust hovering over Kuwait has reduced visibility to almost zero across the country.

Commercial flights will be rescheduled because of current weather patterns, while air traffic will only resume normally once the dust storm subsides, said Emad Al-Juluwi, Kuwait Civil Aviation's Deputy Director General for Air Navigation Services Affairs.

On May 16, air traffic at the main airport was suspended for an hour and a half due to a dust storm, and marine traffic in all three ports remained suspended till Tuesday.

Kuwait’s ministry of education said classes were suspended on Tuesday but would resume the following day.

Meanwhile, the Saudi National Center for Meteorology warned of dust storms in several areas in the oil-rich kingdom. A similar warning was made by neighbouring Bahrain.

Sand storm hits Iraq's Najaf

A strong sand storm has hit Iraq's Najaf province as well as Kirkuk early on Monday disrupting visibility across the cities.

Traffic has also been badly affected by the sand storm and dust as visibility was almost lost.

Last week, nearly 4,000 people suffered respiratory problems due to the sand storm that struck several Iraqi provinces.

The storm also forced the suspension of flights at airports in the capital Baghdad, Najaf and Sulaymaniyah in southern and northern Iraq.


Mideast sandstorms snarl traffic

Sandstorms across the Middle East have delayed flights, closed schools and hospitalised thousands -- a phenomenon experts say could worsen as climate change warps regional weather patterns.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday became the latest country blanketed with dust that slowed traffic and made iconic towers in the capital difficult to see from more than a few hundred metres (yards) away.

Emergency rooms in Riyadh hospitals had received some 1,285 people suffering from respiratory problems over 24 hours as a result of the sandstorm, the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel reported.

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