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Motorists cautioned against sandstorm – Air traffic normal, schools open

Workers given early off waiting for their transport in the sandstorm at an unidentified location

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 18, (KUNA): Road users are advised to take extra precaution during the current dust storm sweeping Kuwait, said the Interior Ministry Sunday.

The ministry’s public relations department said that low visibility might result in traffic accidents, indicating that drivers should take care and help protect themselves and others while on the road. Rescue teams will be on standby, said the department, which called people to contact the 112 number in case of emergency.

Meanwhile, air traffic at Kuwait International Airport is normal despite the dust storm hitting the country, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Sunday. Flights to and from the airport have not been affected with the current weather conditions, Assistant Director of DGCA Khaled Al-Shuaibi told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). He pointed out that visibility level permitted takeoffs and landings in compliancy with the airport standards.

Kuwait is currently affected with low horizontal visibility, due to hanging dust, reaching 1,000 meters on some areas exposed with activity in the southern wind, which may exceed a speed of 60 km per hour. DGCA expects weather improvement in the coming hours with light rain falling over different parts of the country.

Despite the dust storm schools will continue to operate while only students and schools staff with medical conditions exempted from completing the day, said an official at the Ministry of Education Sunday. Education Ministry’s Undersecretary Dr Haitham Al-Athari told KUNA that outdoor activities at schools were suspended.

Though the country is experiencing a dust storm, the current weather condition did not necessitate schools’ closure, said the official. If there was further deterioration in weather conditions, schools headmasters and educational areas throughout the country are advised to monitor the situation and take a decision end the school day, said Dr Al-Athari.

In another development, Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) warned against the unstable and dusty weather conditions in the country, urging seagoers and desert campers to take extra precaution. Wind speed is expected to exceed 60 km per hour, with the visibility going below 1,000 meters due to dust, KFSD said in a statement

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