Canary sandstorm: Flights disrupted as dust cloud strands tourists

(BBC) – A vast sandstorm from the Sahara has shrouded Spain’s Canary Islands, disrupting travel plans for tourists flying in and out.

Airport operator Aena cancelled, suspended or diverted all flights to and from the islands at the weekend, citing low visibility.

But on Sunday operations resumed at all airports except Tenerife South.

The regional government has issued an alert, advising people to stay indoors and avoid travel.

Spain’s national weather service forecast winds of up to 120km/h (75mph) in the Canaries until Monday.

Strong winds have carried a dense cloud of sand from the Saharan desert, some 500km (300 miles) across the Atlantic Ocean.

The sandstorm is visible from space, with satellite images showing it engulfing the islands, off the coast of north-west Africa.

Ferry services and efforts to tackle wildfires on Gran Canaria island have also been hampered by the winds.

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