Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sand in My House!

a strong *sandstorm swept the emirates for the past few days, with temperature going cuckoo and low visibility all through the day, depositing sand on roads, balconies and rooftops of buildings. and into my house!

dubai marina itself was blanketed in floating dust. looks like genting highland gone awfully wrong. it's not a particularly violent sandstorm with a wall of sand flying dangerously towards you like a twisting tornado - but the sand sort off, just clinging onto air around the area near my place. and when the the strong wind blew, that's when the unwelcomed sand dropped by my house!

* a sandstorm or dust storm is a meteorological phenomenon - arises when the wind force vibrates loose sand and dust, which are then removed from the dry surface.

the term sandstorm is used most often in the context of desert sandstorms, when, in addition to fine particles obscuring visibility, a considerable amount of larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface.

the term dust storm is more likely to be used when finer particles are blown long distances, especially when the dust storm affects urban areas.

i didn't realize how bad it was until i walked into the kitchen - where the window is always open - and it felt like walking into a freaking beach house with a very thin yet visible layer of sand. worse - i didn't realize i had left the window open in the guest room - and yes, it was bad enough that i could draw smiley faces on the floor.

well, it's exactly like what would happen if you left the window open on a rainy day and drops of rain escapes in - only here, instead of rain, it's sand. instead of getting damp, it gets dusty.

mr. khairul grabbed a mop and started into battle. meanwhile, armed with a damp cloth, i first wiped kahfi's crib - just in case. i changed the spread. khaleef's job was to fluff the pillows like mad. he really got carried away at it. kahfi's job is to just be cute, sit still and stay out of the way. he was very good at his job.

thank god, nobody got the sniffles or coughing fit - and all is well. here's a report about yesterday's sandstorm from the gulfnews.

picture from gulfnews

Sandstorm reduces visibility as strong winds buffet UAE

By Kevin Scott, Staff Reporter
Published: February 28, 2009, 13:35

Dubai: Temperatures across the UAE continue to soar and conditions will remain unseasonably hot over the coming days.

A strong southeasterly wind with gusts of up to 30 knots created a sandstorm across much of the country on Saturday, with visibility reduced to 1,000 metres in Dubai and just 400 metres in Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi.

The maximum temperature in Dubai on Saturday was 36 degrees, only one degree off equalling the highest temperature ever recorded in the UAE during February.

Dr S.K. Gupta, Duty Forecaster at Dubai Meteorological Office, said: "It was very windy and dusty across much of the UAE yesterday and we expect more of the same today before conditions settle down tomorrow and on Monday.

"Several warnings have been issued as visibility on many roads is extremely poor especially on the major highways crossing the country. All motorists should take precautionary measures and drive carefully as the high winds will make vehicle control more difficult."

Temperatures will reach a maximum of 36 degrees again on Sunday and Monday but the Shamal winds will lead to a drop of 10-14 degrees on Tuesday when a more moderate 23 degrees is expected.

caution during a sandstorm

  • don't venture out without taking precautions during the sandstorm - use mask, wear a scarf or shades to protect your eyes
  • avoid wearing contact lenses - even small amounts of airborne dust can cause eye irritation and vision problems
  • to filter out sand particles, use a moistened handkerchief or bandanna
  • you can quickly become dehydrated in the dry heat and high winds so drink lots of WATER!
  • conditions may aggravate asthma, sore throat, eye infections and sinusitis (nose problem?) so minimize your outings
  • beachgoers should rethink plans to rumble by the beach or swim to the sea
  • to motorists - slow down and be on the alert
  • if you have a camel, sit it down and press yourself against its side - camels are well-adapted to surviving in sandstorms (ok exactly how many people who rides camel to work actually reads my blog??? - show of hands now..)

of all the reports on this sandstorm, i found one statement most amusing -

"..police said motorists displayed rare commitment to traffic rules on the highways.." quoted from khaleej times online.

ha ha. man, so do we need a sandstorm in malaysia for malaysian drivers to start displaying 'rare commitments' too? naah. just fake cardboard police traffic in highways...


sofia said...

ooo... theres sand in your house. well doh you live near to a beach. hihi...

Fauziah said...

it was horrible wasn't it...i closed all the windows and yet snd got into the house...dried all the clothes inside..thank god for that..but all in all diferent experience and more work...

Syigim said...

ha ha. good one, sofia. doooh, huh?

fauziah, indeed a new experience...

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