25-Mar-2011: It was a boring weekend. The day was very dull as the month-end Friday restrained us from going on a shopping. The window shopping was equally feared nowadays because at many instances, the window shopping turned to become actual shopping, thus lightening my husband’s wallet and burdening his heart! So on this Friday we decided that we would only stay back at home and wouldn’t go out anywhere. With no upcoming pressures to his wallet, my husband had a peaceful sleep in the afternoon which extended upto evening. My son nicely made me switch on his favourite cartoon channel and settled in front of television. What else do I do other than to get into the virtual world of social friends!!
It was around 5.45 pm and at that moment did my husband’s mobile started ringing. It was his colleague and once he attended the call, he woke up hurriedly and said “oh is it? Let me go & check out from downstairs”. Having said this, he made a quick run towards the door. Out of curiosity, I stopped him midway and asked what had happened that made him run. He said his friend had asked him to check out a huge smoke in the western direction and if it was a fire accident somewhere. Without waiting for my reply he went out.
I peeped out of the window but couldn’t find anything for a moment. But then what I saw was a large smoke filling up the sky on one side. Must be a big fire accident I thought for a second. But this smoke started covering up the entire sky in a very fast mode. Within a few seconds, it started to darken. Then did I realise, that it was a sandstorm. Oh My God! I have never seen such a scene before. I immediately took a few snaps and closed the window. My husband came back by then and we closed all the windows, doors, exhaust fan doors etc. While trying to contact the friend again, we found that our mobile lines were not working for a while. Seeing this huge smoke, we checked out the website and found almost all the flights have been delayed.
|Picture taken thru the window|
Soon the smell of sand was penetrating thru our nostrils. I was able to see the dust particles getting accumulated on all the things. Immediately we set down to close the A/c ducts with news papers and sealed them. I tried to see outside thru the window. It was dust & sand everywhere and nothing else was visible. The friend who had called up was stuck up in office. A few other friends who had gone on outing, were stuck up too.
|Picture taken thru the window|
Around 9 pm or so, the buildings nearby our house were slightly visible. This is when our friends had managed to drive slowly and reach their homes.
After cleaning up the house twice or thrice and still unsatisfied we went to sleep. Next day morning, the newspapers here had mentioned as "Tsunami of Sand" in their headlines and reported chaos all over Kuwait.
The Arab Times reported as: “A menacing black dust storm hit the country at a speed of over 50 kms per hour Friday evening, plunging the country into complete darkness before the sunset. The storm reduced visibility to almost zero in some areas of the country and disrupted mobile phone services for almost 30 minutes as panicked citizens and residents tried to call to check the safety of their loved ones. The Operations Room of the Interior Ministry received more than 200 calls for assistance; the most urgent among them was a boat stranded in mid-sea. Nearly 100 female students were onboard and were on their way to Failaka Island when the storm came threatening. Security forces and Coast Guard members sprung into action and managed to bring the boat safely to the shore”
In the morning, I was happy to see that the sandstorm had settled, the sky was clear and normal. However, our windows and doors were full of fine dust. Our apartment security (called as Harris in Arabic), arranged to clean up the ground floor and stairs. I had to clean up all the things at my home... hmm... had a real hectic work for nearly two days.
|Cleaning work at my apartment|
It was a terrible sandstorm that I had ever seen in these four years and while settling, it did give me allergy and severe throat pain :-((((