KUWAIT: A dust wave gripped Kuwait in the early hours of yesterday, causing visibility to drop drastically. Along with the storm, relatively cold winds were blowing with the visibility level at 500 m in some areas. The dust will subside gradually as temperatures drop, an official at Kuwait Meteorological Center Abdulaziz Al-Qarawi said. In a statement to KUNA, Qarawi said this period of the year is a critical periods of rapid and sharp changes in the weather due to the impact of fluctuations in barometric pressure. He said the country has been affected since Monday evening by a decrease in horizontal vision as a result of prevailing dust from northern Iraq.

Navigation has been suspended temporarily at Shuwaikh Port due to bad weather, strong winds and dust, Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) said yesterday. Director of Operations Captain Bader Al-Enezi told KUNA navigation was halted to maintain safety of merchant ships due to current instability of weather and visibility decreasing to less than 500 m due to suspended dust. Two vessels were waiting to enter the port, Enezi said, noting that the observation tower at the port is monitoring the weather round the clock. He hoped to resume operations when the weather improves.

Navigation via Kuwait International Airport was proceeding despite the current dusty weather, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced early yesterday. DGCA said in a statement to KUNA that visibility was in the range of 800 m. Flights to and from the airport have not been affected with the current weather conditions, the department said. Aircraft are allowed, by regulations, to land or take off at a visibility level ranging between 300 to 500 m. - KUNA