Over a few past years, Dubai, which is located in the northern desert belt, has experienced several incidents of sand storms, which occur often during the summer seasons. These storms are believed to be caused by gusty north-westerly winds which violently blow over the deserts of Dubai, carrying desert sands resulting to the storms. They are believed to be worst in areas with massive deforestations, a category under which Dubai falls. These storms have been reported to have severe effects on the residents of Dubai. The following are some of the effects:
• Disrupts air transport services
These storms are associated with reducing visibility. A reduction in visibility affects air transport, causing delays of flights, and accidents. When these storms occur, planes on flight are redirected and compelled to land immediately.
• Health hazards
Dust particles present in sandstorms cause respiratory problems, which can result to death due to suffocation. The dust particles may also contain airborne pollutants such as pesticides, salt and sulphur, which are hazardous when inhaled. The situation worsens more to those people with heart problems, pregnant women and those already suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma. During these storms, such victims are supposed to remain indoors. In some provinces of Dubai, some hospitals have at times been reported to have gone out of oxygen due to upsurge in the number of victims.
• Road accidents
Reduced visibility caused by the storms, cripples road transport, and cause accidents. Several cases of roads accidents are reported every time the storms strike.
• Cripples learning activities
Since children are the most vulnerable victims of the storms, many schools have to be closed every time the storms occur.
Dust particles in the storms can corrode buildings, cars and other infrastructure as it contains salts.
• Economic blow
The economic sector happens to be the major victim of the sand storms. The following are the effects of the storms in the sector:
Cripples daily business activities such as construction, which cannot progress due to low visibility.
Most construction infrastructures such as oil pipelines are buried by the sand and hence a lot of costs are incurred to dean them.
• Damage to crops
The agricultural sector also is not immune to this calamity. The deposition of sand particles on the land retards the growth of crops, and in our case, flowers and fruits, which are the main constituents of Dubai’s agricultural sector. The dust particles close pores of leaves of crops and trees, and not unless it rains within a period of at least two days after the storms, the crops may end up drying, which could be a great blow to the sector. This may also reduce quality of the crops, which could result to lost market. Especially for flowers which are exported to Europe.
• Affects marine life.
When dust particles get into water, they form a layer which could prevent sunlight from reaching the sea floor. This affects the life cycle of the marine life. Also, when the sand storms start fading, the tons of sand present in them drop in the oceans, these particles have the effect of clogging the respiratory systems of the marine creatures, causing death.