Update: Egypt sandstorm disrupts flights

Ahram Online, Thursday 19 Apr 2012

Egypt Air postpones flights to Sharm El-Sheikh Airport due to reduced visibility of 700 meters, Burj Al-Arab Airport also postpones Egypt Air flights

Egypt Khamasin Sandstorm
The yearly Khamasin sandstorm hit several areas of Egypt on Wednesday including Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Suez and Assuit paralysing highways due to the lack of visibility on the roads. (Photo: Reuters)

Four Egypt Air flights have been diverted and two flights to Sharm El-Sheikh postponed after visibility was reduced to 700 meters due to the khamasin sandstorm.

Burj Al-Arab airport also postponed another Egypt Air flight.

Although earlier Thursday, Cairo International Airport declared stable visibility reached to 3,000 metres and normal airplane traffic after declaring emergency status Wednesday for airplanes to take off and land due to the khamasin sandstorm.

Alexandria Port Authorities also decided to open Bughazi and Dekheila ports Thursday after closing them Wednesday due to the storm that caused a severe reduction in visibility.

The Red Sea Ports Authority announced Thursday that Port Sokhna would remain closed due to the storm.

The yearly khamasin sandstorm hit several areas of Egypt Wednesday, including Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Suez and Assuit, paralysing highways due to lack of visibility.

The countrywide sandstorm originates from annual local storms in North Africa that travel to Egypt, usually arriving in the month of April.

Dr Ali Qotub, the official spokesperson of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority, stated on Channel One of

Egyptian television Wednesday that the speed of the sandstorm reached more than 60 kilometres per hour across Cairo, Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh and all the desert highways.

The Red Sea Ports Authority announced Wednesday that the four main ports in Suez were closed due to the sandstorm.

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