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Home>>World >> Asia/Oceania
13:29, September 23, 2009

Thick dust storm blankets Sydney, causing flight delays

A photographer takes pictures of the Sydney Harbour bridge as a dust storm blankets the city Sept. 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A thick blanket of dust settled over the city of Sydney Wednesday morning causing flights delays, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The dust storm blanketing Sydney is causing mayhem for airline passengers, with flights into and out of the capital delayed and diverted.

A man wearing a dust mask walks across the Sydney Harbour bridge as a dust storm blankets the city Sept. 23, 2009. An outback dust storm swept across eastern Australia and blanketed Sydney on Wednesday, disrupting transport and placing health authorities on alert for widespread respiratory illness. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

All domestic flights on the busy Melbourne-Sydney route are experiencing delays this morning while at least four international flights into the harbor city have been diverted to Brisbane.

Winds up to 100 km/h are also expected to hit Sydney later this morning, Australian Associated Press reports Wednesday morning.

The thick red dust has blown in from central Australia and western New South Wales and visibility is reported to be down to just ten meters at Broken Hill.

A woman walks past the Sydney skyline as a dust storm blankets the city Sept. 23, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

A Melbourne Airport spokeswoman said the disruptions would continue as long as the dust storm affected Sydney. Passengers are urged to contact their airlines for flight information.

The conditions could trigger asthma attacks and cause problems for people with other respiratory conditions, medical experts worry.

Canberra was given a stark reminder of the drought in the dry heart of Australia Tuesday as a dust storm engulfed the national capital. But heavy rains have washed it away overnight.

Source: Xinhua

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