Sandstorm to hit Yemeni provinces
Surfacing in the centre of the Arab Peninsula and Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, the mass of dust and sand will be accompanied by north and northeasterly winds and low visibility.
In a forecast statement sent to Yemen Times, the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority said that the governorates of Mahra, Hadramout, Al-Jawaf, Marib and Shabwah would be hit hardest, though the sandstorm could reach as far as Sa’ada, Amran, Hajja, Dhamar and the capital Sana’a.
The Center called on citizens of these provinces – and drivers especially – to be alert and cautious over the very low visibility the cloud will cause.
It advised the elderly, children and people with problems – as well as any institutions that deal with sensitive electronic devices – to avoid the dust cloud.
“Dust storms can trigger serious asthma in patients whose asthma is activated through irritation of their bronchial tubes,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Garati of the Al-Jamhori Teaching Hospital in Sana’a. "People with breathing or allergy problems are advised to stay at home during the storms, also this may affect visibility for long distance drivers so caution is also advised in inter-city travel."
Many people resort to wearing surgical masks to help them breathe during such storms, which are a common occurrence in Yemen.
As well as causing problems for drivers and those with breathing difficulties, sand and dust storms also cause soil erosion and crop damage, according to meteorology experts.