Dust and danger: Showers likely to settle the dust

Dust and danger: Showers likely to settle the dust

DUBAI/ABU DHABI — Residents fought off sand thrown up by winds on Thursday and the country’s weather bureau forecast rain across the UAE today and tomorrow.

By Muaz Shabandri & Aisha Tariq

Published: Fri 13 Apr 2012, 1:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Apr 2015, 1:28 PM

The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) said more clouds may gather and light to moderate rainfall is likely over coastal regions.

The dust in the air is the product of accelerated winds, not sandstorms, the NCMS said.

The presence of a cold air mass in the upper levels of the atmosphere and a low pressure system at the surface is creating unstable weather conditions, including high winds, increased clouds and rain.

Clouds started to gather on Thursday morning over the Western Region, producing 0.4 mm of rain before sweeping across the rest of the country.

As the clouds continue to move over the interior regions and the coast, they may cause scattered rains of light to moderate intensity.

Increased wind speeds, recorded at 50 kilometres per hour on Abu Dhabi Island, will continue to produce dusty conditions throughout the country. People with asthma and other respiratory problems are advised to stay indoors.

“Pressure fluctuations in the region have increased the flow of winds creating unsettled weather conditions in the country,” said an NCMS official. Dusty conditions also prevailed across most parts of Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman.

Fatima Ali, a Dubai resident, said, “It was very difficult to walk from my office to the metro station in Jumeirah Lake Towers. The visibility was very low and it was dust all around.”

School buses in Dubai were also delayed in some areas as drivers plying on the Emirates Road confirmed poor visibility in the afternoon. The Abu Dhabi Police asked motorists to take extra caution while driving during poor visibility. They must be driving with caution on roads linking Abu Dhabi to Al Silaa, Dubai and Al Ain, the police said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jamal Salem Al Amiri, Head of Public Relations Section, urged drivers to adhere to the speed limits on highways, especially in desert areas where there are no barriers, buildings or trees. Sand on the roads make driving conditions slippery, he said.

The Media’s Broadcasting Division went on air on the Holy Quran Radio Station, Emirates FM and Star FM stations, broadcasting safety messages. Drivers are asked to park their vehicles on the side of road and switch on hazard lights if they find it hard to drive because of poor visibility.- muaz@khaleejtimes.com

Pile-ups injure nine on Dubai Bypass Road

DUBAI — Dust kicked up by wind reduced visibility across the UAE on Thursday morning and caused a string of pileups involving 23 vehicles on Dubai Bypass Road in which at least nine people were injured.

On hearing the news, Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, rushed to the area and instructed the police to immediately assist the victims and remove the vehicles fast from the road to avoid traffic snarls.

He reviewed the traffic and security measures taken and oversaw the shifting of the injured to the hospitals.

Major-General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, said Shaikh Hamdan was keen to come to the accident scene to ensure that the injured got the needed medical assistance and those who were severely injured were rushed to the hospitals by the Dubai Ambulance. Of the victims, one was severely injured, two had moderate injuries and six suffered minor injuries.

Shaikh Hamdan ordered the removal of the damaged cars from the road to prevent more accidents and traffic jams.

He attributed the pile-ups to the dust in the air which reduced visibility in the open area. He also blamed the motorists for not taking precautionary measures. Speeding by some of them worsened the situation.

Several vehicles involved in the pile-ups were badly damaged, he pointed out, and said drivers must be careful in such weather. He called on all motorists to strictly abide by traffic laws and the instructions issued by the Roads and Transport Authority especially during bad weather. He also advised them to watch the warning messages on screens put up in all parts of Dubai about the road and weather conditions. Motorists must park their vehicles in safe places if the visibility dips to this level. —

By Amira Agarib (news@khaleejtimes.com)



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