Dust storm engulfs city

Met dept says storm will pass in a day and won’t be followed by rains or strong winds

The storm in the city was a result of dust-laden northerly winds from Rajasthan 

Amdavadis woke up to a cloudy sky on Tuesday morning. As the day progressed, a dusty haze enveloped the city, drastically reducing visibility. Several Amdavadis compared it to the conditions that prevailed in the aftermath of Pokhran nuclear explosions in May 1998 and flooded the meteorological department with worried calls. 

However, the dust storm seems to have originated from the Middle East. A major dust storm hit the Gulf countries, particularly the Oman and Sindh regions. The storm also hit Karachi Hyderabad, Jaccobbabad, Shikarpur, Dadu, Lower Dir, Tank, Hub, Kharan, Quetta and other parts of Pakistan before passing over Delhi and Rajasthan, too. 

Met director Kamaljeet Ray said, “This is typical case of dust-laden northerly winds from Rajasthan passing through Ahmedabad. It results in suspension of particles in the air which creates the haze.”

She added, “It will not last longer than a day and will not be followed by rains or strong winds contrary to popular apprehensions.” The dusty weather created problems for pedestrians, push-cart vendors and motorcyclists who covered their faces to avoid being blinded by the dust. 

Those indoors were not spared either. Smita Suthar, a resident of Vastrapur, said, “I stayed in when I realised a dust storm was brewing. Though I kept all the doors and windows closed, fine dust settled over everything. I had to clean up my entire house, including the windows and balconies. I also had to re-wash the clothes I had hung outside for drying.”

Dust storms, even of mild intensity could cause health problems like difficulty in breathing and irritation in eyes.