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Khalid Iqbal
Saturday, May 26, 2012
From Print Edition




A strong dust storm with a speed of 110km per hour hit the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad Friday evening disrupting domestic and international flights and creating problems for people especially allergy patients.


The storm started at around 6:30 p.m. and gradually gripped the twin cities as the sand particles increased in the air.


According to Pakistan Meteorological Department the dust storm lashed the twin cities at a speed of 110km an hour.


“It is not unusual as it happened in March and April even in the hilly areas. Like other parts of the country, twin cities remained in grip of speedy dust storm, which would end on Saturday morning,” said Chief Meteorologist, Dr. Muhammad Hanif while talking to ‘The News’ here on Friday.


He said the north-westerly dusty winds started blowing from Iran towards the coastal areas of Balochistan and Sindh and entered Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab due to low air pressure, therefore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad received strong dust storm.


He said visibility at Islamabad International Airport was below 100 meters and it disrupted the flights schedule, but the situation at other international airports was not as bad.


The strong winds blew away temporary roofs of houses and kiosks as well as the huge billboards along Benazir Bhutto Road, Jhelum Road, Islamabad Expressway, Peshawar Road, Airport Road and other parts of the city.


In twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the dust storm also created problems for the motorists on the main roads.