A huge sandstorm hit Egypt last week, killing four people and injuring five others when a billboard fell onto the 6th October Bridge.
During the spring, Egypt is regularly hit by the khamisin – 50 – hot, dry windstorms which carry sand from the desert and can last for up to 50 days.
The storm can cause severe headaches, blocked and runny noses and red, irritated eyes.
Citizens are advised to stay at home whereever possible until the storm has passed.
An engineer in Sharqia governorate also died in the storm last week whilst walking to work in the 10th Ramadan city, close to Cairo, also after being crushed by a billboard.
Two other people across the country died in the storm including a man who was crushed by a date palm in the Nile Delta.
In Suez, a man watching the storm from the fourth floor of his apartment block died after losing his balance.
The cloud of dust, which turned the sky orange, and strong winds crushed four vehicles.
The sandstorm swept across the Suez Canal and two Red Sea ports were shut as the waves reached four metres.
In 2021 high winds and a sandstorm blew the giant container ship – the Ever Given – aground on the Suez Canal, one of the busiest waterways in the world.
The ship was struggling to move through the water due to the high winds and the sandstorm, which severely reduced visibility.
The Ever Given blocked the southernmost part of the canal preventing all other ships from passing.
Egypt’s Head of the Suez Canal Authority estimated that the losses resulting from the ship running aground amounted to $1 billion.