Dust storm blankets Israel causing flight cancellations

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A major dust storm over Israel caused the cancellation of flights and kept many Israelis indoors.

The dust storm, which began on Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday, caused low visibility throughout the country, leading to the cancellation of all domestic flights, including those between Tel Aviv and Eilat. International flights leaving from Eilat also were cancelled or relocated.

The dust came from Saudi Arabia on high winds. Air pollution levels are up to 30 times higher than usual. But the average levels are still much lower than the September sand storm that hit Israel, according to meteorologists.

The Israel Electric Corporation announced on its website and Facebook page that there could be “failures in the power grid” due to the dust storm, and that the combination of the dust and the rain that is predicted to follow could cause power outages.

People suffering from breathing problems, as well as pregnant women, the elderly, people with chronic heart and lung conditions were warned to remain indoors.

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