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Sat 15 Mar 2008 04:05 PM

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Sandstorm warning for UAE

Motorists urged to drive carefully in poor conditions with horror 200-car pile-up still fresh in people's minds.

Motorists in the UAE must take extra care when driving on Saturday and Sunday due to poor visibility caused by sandstorms, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned on Friday.

The centre said visibility would be "very poor" on highways across the UAE, but especially in the west of the Emirates, reported state news agency Wam.

The warning comes just days after the UAE's worst ever road accident involving some 200 vehicles, in which three people died and 347 were injured.

The string of pile-ups on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway on Tuesday morning was caused by speeding and thick fog.

Eyewitness accounts of the accident and live video footage taken by passing motorists has shocked the nation, sparking calls for a road safety campaign, particularly on how to drive in poor conditions such as rain, fog and sandstorms.

RELATED: Second crash video shows dozens of cars burning

Authorities are keen to warn motorists of possible adverse weather conditions as soon as possible to prevent a repeat of Tuesday's accident ever happening again.

Light Shamal winds on Saturday are expected on to pick up overnight to between 15 and 20 knots on Sunday, according to the Dubai Meteorological Office.

Neighbouring Gulf states Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar all experienced severe sandstorms on Friday, with visibility reduced to just 50 metres in places.

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