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Giant dust storm hits Phoenix again

21 July 2011 09:53

A dust storm rolls through the south Phoenix area in Arizona

A dust storm rolls through the south Phoenix area in Arizona

For the second time this month a massive dust storm has swept across Phoenix in Arizona, drastically reducing visibility.

Pollution levels increase during dust storms and create more breathing problems for people with asthma and other similar conditions, highlighting that visitors to the country should have an appropriate medical travel insurance that covers expenses for pre-existing illnesses.

Known as a haboob in Arizona, the storm was formed in Pinal County creating winds of 25 to 30mph with gusts of up to 40mph, before heading north east for Phoenix, said Austin Jamison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The dust wall, which was about 3,000ft high, drastically reduced visibility causing flight disruptions. Reduced visibility could have also endangered drivers as it was less than a quarter of a mile in some areas.

Julie Rodriguez, an airport spokesperson said that some departing flights at Phoenix Sky Harbour International Airport were delayed because of the dust storm.

She also said they were waiting for the storm to clear to let the incoming flights from nearby cities to fly to Phoenix.

The earlier storm brought a mile-high wall of dust that caused flight disruptions and power outages for hundreds of residents in the area and also turned swimming pools into mud pits.