Dust haze sweeps across Bahrain
Manama, February 16, 2008
Bahrain was hit yesterday (Friday) by a sudden dust haze sweeping large parts of the Gulf.
Met officials blamed the 'very unusual' phenomenon on a sandstorm which hit parts of Saudi Arabia bordering southern Iraq and travelling towards the Eastern Province, following the development of a very low pressure area.
Flights, however, took off and landed on schedule at Bahrain International Airport despite the haze, said sources.
There were no disruptions despite visibility being reduced to 500 metres at times, Civil Aviation Affairs and Gulf Air spokesmen confirmed.
A Salmaniya Medical Complex accident and emergency department doctor said they had examined 'scores' of people with symptoms of asthma and breathlessness.
'There has been a surge of such cases but most of the patients were discharged after treatment.
'We advise anyone with such symptoms to come to the hospital and if they know they have a chronic condition, they should stay indoors.'
The Coastguard warned fishermen against venturing out to sea after issuing a storm warning.
A sandstorm with winds reaching 75 kilometres an hour also battered Kuwait, forcing authorities to close three seaports because of poor visibility.-TradeArabia News Service