We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 20 Feb 2008 01:53 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Dust storm causes Kuwait air traffic chaos

Incoming planes unable to land as 40km per hour winds whip up blinding sands.

A blinding dust storm hit Kuwait Tuesday, forcing the closure of the Gulf emirate's three ports and disrupting air traffic, officials said.

Winds blowing at a speed of up to 40 kilometers an hour caused the storm, the second in four days in the emirate, reducing visibility to below 300 meters at Kuwait airport.

Issam al-Zamel, head of operations at the Civil Aviation Authority, told the Kuna news agency that incoming planes were facing difficulty landing.

One private Iranian jet returned to Tehran and an Egyptian plane diverted to Dammam in Saudi Arabia.

Scheduled flights out of Kuwait were still taking off by early afternoon.

The meteorological department is forecasting the dust storm will continue until Friday.

Kuwait has virtually had no rain this winter which makes desert sand loose and easily carried by strong northwesterly winds. Dust storms are rare in winter but are common in summer when the temperature reaches 50 degrees Celsius.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.