Saturday 20 July 2019

Sandstorms and hail hit Middle East

In Cairo, visibility was low as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.

Vehicles drive during a sandstorm in Cairo, Egypt (Amr Nabil/AP)
Vehicles drive during a sandstorm in Cairo, Egypt (Amr Nabil/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

A harsh weather front has brought sandstorms, hail and rain to parts of the Middle East.

In the Egyptian capital Cairo, visibility was low as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.

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Pedestrians cross a bridge during a sandstorm in Cairo (Amr Nabil/AP)

Dusty winds whipped through Israel and the West Bank as well, with hail falling near Tel Aviv and meteorologists announcing that snow was expected in Jerusalem.

In Cairo, winds reached more than 50kph (30mph), bending palm trees along the Nile River.

In Libya, rain, wind and cold weather was driving increased demand for electricity that overloaded the electricity grids and led to power outages.

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Waves crash into the Mediterranean seaport of Cesarea, Israel (Ariel Schalit/AP)

Sandstorms are common in the region in late winter and early spring.

Jerusalem braced for its first snowstorm in years, with police preparing to shut major roads and many local schools and universities saying they would close early.

High desert winds swept through Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, carrying sand and dust, while snow was already falling in Israel’s mountainous north, where torrential rain and hail stranded some cars and turned streets into rivers of mud.

In Gaza, fishermen returned to port and docked their boats to protect against the stormy sea.

PA Media

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