EL-ARISH: A sandstorm sweeping across parts of Egypt has forced the closure of ports at the mouth of the Suez Canal and a major desert highway through the Sinai Peninsula.
The dust reduced visibility, and winds whipped up 3.5-meter (11-foot) waves on the Red Sea.
Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Diraz, head of the Ports Authority, said authorities closed the Tawfik and Ain Sukhna ports at the southern mouth of the Suez Canal on Sunday.
Another port was closed across the Sinai in the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Mediterranean port of El-Arish also had to be shut. A small airport in the northern Sinai was closed.
Diraz estimated the winds pushing the dust Sunday were moving at 35 kilometers per hour.
Egypt is regularly hit by sandstorms this time of year.