Sand/Dust Storms


Dust Storms Expected in Coming Weeks (March 4, 2009) Yemen Times

The dust storm that swept the country three days ago finally started clearing up yesterday. The visibility will remain poor for a few weeks throughout Yemen according to the General Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority.

Similar storms are expected over the coming weeks during the seasonal transitional period until approximately mid-March. Dry winds coming from the Arabian Peninsula carry dust particles that they pick up as they speed across desert areas.

….The oxygen that we breathe is polluted with dust, germs, and factory waste materials that are detrimental to our health,” said Dr. Ahmed Al-Garati of the Al-Jamhori Teaching Hospital in Sana’a.

Dust storms carry cold air and bad substances that lead to many diseases such as skin rashes, ophthalmia, sinusitis, laryngitis, and pneumonia.

“Dust storms can trigger serious asthma in patients whose asthma is inactive through irritation of their bronchial tubes,” Al-Garati said, explaining that Al-Jamhori Hospital in Sana’a has witnessed a remarkable increase in respiratory emergency cases.

The occurrence and severity of dust storms in Yemen and in the Arabian Peninsula in general has increased in recent years due to global warming, according to authorities.

Dust storms hit countries in the region such as UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia before passing through to Yemen. Reports from the region explain that such weather is unprecedented. The storms originate from mid-latitude tropical regions covering Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf States, and can reach as far as the Horn of Africa