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Saudi Capital Covered in Dust after Sandstorm - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi people walk through a sand and dust storm in Riyadh. (AFP)

Saudi people walk through a sand and dust storm in Riyadh. (AFP)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Residents of Saudi Arabia’s capital are cleaning up after a huge sandstorm blanketed the city with a thick layer of yellow dust.

Cars and houses are covered by sand after the Tuesday storm forced the closure of the international airport and shut down schools.

The Saudi Press Agency says flights to Khaled International Airport were diverted Tuesday to airports in Jeddah and Dammam. The airport has since reopened.

Hospitals dispatched emergency teams to dozens of residents suffering from breathing problems.

Billowing clouds of sand engulfed the city and surrounding areas, forcing drivers to slow to a crawl and people to stay indoors.

Sandstorms are common in Saudi Arabia during the spring.

Saudis take photographs of The Kingdom Tower during a sandstorm in Riyadh. (R)

Saudis take photographs of The Kingdom Tower during a sandstorm in Riyadh. (R)

A huge sandstorm engulfs the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

A huge sandstorm engulfs the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)