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This picture taken on May 17, 2022 shows a view of skyline of the city centre of Riyadh during a heavy dust storm. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: A sandstorm, which blanketed the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday, prompted around 1,285 people with respiratory problems to head to hospitals, Saudi news portal Sabq has reported.

The storm, which originated in Iraq, had hit Riyadh and the Eastern Province lowering visibility and put hospitals on alert to handle emergencies.

Health authorities have urged sufferers of respiratory problems such as asthma against exposure to dust and recommended face mask wearing.

The Saudi National Centre for Meteorology forecast that clouds of dust will continue Wednesday to affect visibility partially in areas of Riyadh, the Eastern Province and will extend to parts of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina as well as Asir in south-western Saudi Arabia and the central region of Qassim.