US city struck by huge dust storm

July 6th, 2011 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 6 (IANS) A huge dust storm has hit the US city of Phoenix in Arizona, blocking visibility and closing the state’s largest airport, a media report said Wednesday.

The 30-mile wide storm, one of the largest with sustained winds of up to 70 miles an hour, whipped up masses of ground dust and dirt.

The blinding storm forced the temporary closure of the Sky Harbour Airport in the city, the Sky News reported.

Drivers unable to see where they were going also had to pull off the major roads for safety reasons, it said.

Large sandstorms, also known as haboobs, are common in the southwest of the country between May and September due to the high temperatures and low moisture in the desert areas.

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