Kuwait City: A blinding dust storm hit Kuwait on Tuesday, halting oil exports and forcing the closure of the Gulf emirate’s three ports besides disrupting air traffic, an official said.
Winds blowing at a speed of up to 60 km an hour reduced visibility to less than 300 metres at Kuwait airport and less than 150 metres at ports.
“We have halted oil exports until weather conditions improve,” said Kuwait National Petroleum Co. spokesman Mohammad al-Ajmi, although operations at Kuwait’s three oil refineries were not affected.
Issam al-Zamel, head of operations at the civil aviation authority, said incoming planes were facing difficulty landing.
Kuwait has had virtually no rain for the third winter in a row, making desert sand loose and easily carried by strong northwesterly winds.