CAIRO – Egyptian cities on Wednesday saw a massive sandstorm that blew through the North African country with a combination of cold weather, wind, high waves and rain.
Images released by epa showed Egyptians wearing masks to cover their faces so as not to breath in thick clouds of desert sand while street vendors and bus passengers hurried off the streets to avoid the weather.
Rain, a rare occurrence in the Sahara Desert, only falls a few days every year yet meteorologists report that rain will likely hit the Egyptian capital and some northern Egyptian cities Wednesday evening.
The sandstorm has led to the closure of a number of Egyptian ports on the Mediterranean as well as the cessation of fishing due to high waves and strong wind.
In the northern city of Alexandria, the weather caused some trees to fall, blocking roads and causing power outages and a partial collapse of a building, according to local media.
Egypt is the largest nation in the Arab world by population with roughly one in four Arabs living in the North African country.
With a population of about 20 million citizens, Cairo is the second largest city in Africa after Lagos in Nigeria.