‘Apocalyptic’ sand storm engulfs Niger’s capital city

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Footage has shown what many have called an ‘apocalyptic’ wall of dust and sand engulf Niger’s capital city, Niamey, in West Africa.
The dust storm enveloped streets and buildings across the entire city, turning night into day and the giving the sky a ‘blood red’ tint.
In this photo taken Monday, May 4, 2020, a dust cloud rolls over the capital Niamey, Niger. (AP Photo/Erwan Rogard)
Dust storms are common in the region during the dry season, but the city has not seen such enormous plumes of sand and dust – in some areas reaching over hundreds of metres high – like these for some time.
Drylands across the African continent see airborne dust turn into storms such as the one seen in Niger, and less than a year ago, a dust storm in southern Africa was even picked up by NASA satellites.
Dust fills a street after a dust cloud swept over the capital Niamey, Niger. (AP Photo/Erwan Rogard)
As the dust storm accosted the city, residents reported that the wind whipped up incredibly quickly, carrying the sand across the city to the Atlantic Ocean.
The South African Weather Service reported that the winds brought up enough particles into the air to produce ‘moderate to poor visibility’, explaining why the light of day had turned to a deep red.