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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spain closes airports on Canary Islands due to sand storm

UPDATED: Mon., Feb. 24, 2020

People in carnival dress walk across a street  Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in a cloud of red dust in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. Flights leaving Tenerife have been affected after storms of red sand from Africa's Saharan desert hit the Canary Islands and carnival was finally cancelled it was announced. (Andres Gutierrez / AP)
People in carnival dress walk across a street Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in a cloud of red dust in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. Flights leaving Tenerife have been affected after storms of red sand from Africa's Saharan desert hit the Canary Islands and carnival was finally cancelled it was announced. (Andres Gutierrez / AP)
Associated Press

MADRID – Spanish authorities said Sunday that they have closed airports on the Canary Islands because of a windstorm that is blinding the archipelago with sand and dust.

Spain’s airport authorities said that incoming planes have been rerouted to other destinations and no flights are being allowed to leave airports on the islands’ airports.

The regional government for the Canary Islands says wind gusts could reach around 75 mph. Authorities closed schools Monday.

Television images show palm trees whipping in the wind amid a thick yellow haze enveloping the islands.

The storm phenomenon, locally known as “calima,” is capable of lifting up clouds of sand and dust from the Sahara desert and transporting them across the 59 miles separating the islands from the African coast.

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