IN PICS ‘It’s like Mars’: Sahara sandstorm sweeps across Canary Islands

Known as a Calima in Spanish, the weather phenomenon saw high winds brings sand from the Sahara desert sweep across the Canary Islands.

IN PICS 'It's like Mars': Sahara sandstorm sweeps across Canary Islands
An image taken from a control tower on the Canary Islands. Photo: @J_Morillas / Twitter

Satelite footage shot by NASA shows the cloud of sand sweeping over the Canary Islands from the Sahara. 

And the forecast shows the phenonmenon is set to continue until Wednesday.

The dust cloud closed airspace over the Canary Islands and bathed eveything in an orange hue. 

This image was shot from the air traffic control tower at one of the airports on the archipelago. 

And here's some footage ofGran Canaria looking like a scene from Lawrence of Arabia but with a bicycle in place of a camel. 

The scene was repeated across the Canary Islands, from Gran Canaria to Tenerife to Lanzarote. 



And here's a shot of Las Canteras beach on the island of Las Palmas. 


Island authorities have declared a red alert and issued a list of recommendations which include closing doors and windows, drink lots of liquids and avoid exertion.  Those who suffer from respiratory problems are advised to stay indoors and drivers are told to be careful on the roads, use headlamps and cut speed as visibility is greatly reduced.  


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Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings

Nine Spanish regions were put on alert on Tuesday for heavy snow, rain and strong winds, with the country's traffic authorities calling for people taking holidays this long weekend to head home early to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

Spain urges holidaymakers to head home early due to snow and strong wind warnings
Vehicles stuck in traffic due to a heavy snowfall near Burgos, northern Spain, in March 2021. Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP

Aragón, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country will be on orange alert from Tuesday for snow storms, while Asturias, Cantabria, La Rioja and La Comunidad Valenciana are on the less-severe yellow alert, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) announced.

A slight increase in temperatures will increase the risk of avalanches in the Pyrenees and the central Cantabrian mountain range.

Some roads in the north of the country are already being affected by snow and are being restricted to some traffic such as trucks and heavy vehicles.

Spain’s traffic authority (DGT) called on residents in the northern half of the country to return early from the puente (long weekend) marked by the public holidays of December 6 and 8, ahead of heavy snow forecast for Wednesday.

Of the 108 main roads affected by the heavy snow in Spain, almost half of them are in the northeastern region Aragón.

Aragón, Catalonia and Navarra are at risk of avalanches, according to data from Aemet, while a storm warning has been issued for the coastal areas of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Catalonia and the Basque country.

Heavy rainfall is expected in Galicia, extending to Cantabria and the western Pyrenees.