Middle East

Massive sandstorm, record winds hit Tehran

An Afghan family spends their time outdoors observing the ancient festival of Sizdeh Bedar, an annual public picnic day on the 13th day of the Iranian new year, at Pardisan Park, in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

TEHRAN: A massive sandstorm and record winds on Monday plunged the Iranian capital into darkness, damaging buildings, knocking out power supplies and causing widespread disruption.

The freak weather, which struck at 5:10 pm (1240 GMT), sent residents dashing for cover as debris swept across streets and snapped trees. State media reported 120 kilometre (80-mile) per hour winds.

Early reports did not give details of casualties or damage, but experts on state television warned Tehranis to stay indoors.





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