Blustery weather to continue


By Mohammed Dawood

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection issued 11 warnings about inclement weather in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Al-Jouf, Hail, Tabuk and many other areas.

The authority said the dust storm, which started on Monday, will continue for a few more days. But there was no possibility of rains in Jeddah.

It said the southern winds will continue to be active in various parts of the Kingdom causing dust and sandstorms with speed of about 55 km/h.

It asked motorists on highways to be extremely cautious as visibility will be reduced to about one km or less.

The Department of Education in Jeddah ordered all schools in the city to suspend classes on Monday, but schools remained open on Tuesday in the city.

However, many schools remained closed for the second day on Tuesday in nearby areas.

The departments of education in Makkah and Madinah ordered all schools closed on Tuesday.

The Department of Health Affairs in Jeddah has asked all hospitals to be ready to receive emergency cases resulting from dust storms.

Spokesman of the Civil Defense in Makkah, Col. Saeed Sarhan asked people to be extremely cautious when going out.

He asked contractors to abstain from field construction work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Coast Guards in Makkah advised fishermen against going out to sea.

However, the air traffic movement at King Abdulaziz International Airport is normal.

Turki Al-Dheeb, director of the department of information and public relations in the airport, said air traffic was not affected by dust storms.

He said visibility was about 800 meters while aircraft are allowed to take off and land even when visibility is between 350-500 meters.

The management of the Jeddah Islamic Seaport said naval traffic was stopped on Monday and the seaport was closed.

Abdullah Al-Zamaie, director of the seaport, said ships will be allowed to depart or dock as soon as the weather becomes suitable.