Mangistau oblast in western Kazakhstan hit by dust storm01 april 2015, 01:51
Mangystau oblast and Aktau city in western Kazakhstan were hit by a heavy dust storm with wind gusts up to 25 meters per second on March 29, Tengrinews reports citing local news websites Tumba.kz and Lada.kz. The air temperature dropped from 10 degrees Centigrade to 1 degree Centigrade below zero.
The dust veil remained in the air until March 31.
According to the weather forecasters, the south-western periphery of an extensive stationary anticyclone with large pressure gradient at the surface caused the heavy dust storm and poor visibility of 200-500 meters.
The Emergency Department of Mangistau oblast advised people against leave their home without any need, and to stay away from buildings and constructions, trees, billboards and power lines when they are outside.
Due to the deteriorating weather conditions, police was put on high alert. According to the press secretary of the regional Department of Internal Affairs Azamat Sarsenbayev, cars heading from Aktau were allowed to leave the city only in columns accompanied by police cars.
In addition, because of poor visibility Aktau – Zhanaozen was partially closed for traffic.
Dust storm caused several traffic accidents in the region. One accident involved two cars colliding, in another one - a bus full of shift workers flipped over because of strong gusts of wind and poor visibility.
“There were 24 passengers in the bus. All of them have a fly-in fly-out job at Techno-Trading company and they were heading to Zhetybai rural area for their shift. As a result of the accident, one passenger suffered several body injuries and had to be taken to the regional hospital in Aktau. Another three were taken to the hospital in Zhetybai rural area. Their life are out of danger,” the press office of the Department of Internal Affairs of Mangistau oblast informed.
“This is some kind of a dusty nightmare. Today alone, this was the third car we pulled out of a ditch. We would like to tell the car owners not to drive on the road without any urgent need or at least to be careful,” the police officers said on March 29.
One of the readers sent a video to Lada's editorial office that capture janitors working in the dust storm in Aktau. The reader found it funny that the janitors were sweeping the dust from the ground when there was a dust veil in the air. “Janitors in Aktau are so tough that they work even during a dust storm. They must love their job so much,” the reader commented trying to make it a joke.
Unfortunately, the dust storm was not the only surprise that awaited the people. No one expected snow to start falling on the last day of March. The townspeople said they did not see that much snow during the entire winter this year.
The snowstorm and strong wind still hamper the traffic in the city.
By Assel Satubaldina