Saudi health chiefs issued an alert on Monday amid freak weather conditions in the Kingdom’s western region.
A sandstorm engulfed Jeddah, while 70km away in Makkah there was torrential rain and hail.
Meteorology chiefs had initially predicted a thunderstorm in Jeddah, but at 6.15pm they warned that sand and dust would sigificantly reduce visibility. The Saudi Red Crescent Authority urged motorists and residents to take care, and spokesman Abdullah Abu Zaid, said that people with respiratory diseases should avoid going out.
“Motorists on the city roads need to be careful as visibility is poor. I would like also to urge all residents to call us on 977 in case of any health problems,” he said.
The Jeddah General Directorate of Health posted health messages on Twitter, including instructions on protective measures against the dust, such as wearing masks, firmly closing doors and avoiding exposure.