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Sandstorm strands travelers in Canary Islands, airports were closed

Christian Fernsby |
Travelers in the Canary Islands face continued disruption today morning following a massive sandstorm that blew in from the Sahara Desert over the weekend.

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The popular holiday destination, which is part of Spain but lies off the coast of Morocco and Western Sahara, was struck by winds known as "la calima," which blow huge amounts of dust and sand across the Atlantic Ocean.

Airports were closed due to the storm, which made it impossible for planes to take off or land.

"Industry professionals cannot remember such adverse meteorological conditions for air travel in the Canary Islands," tweeted Spanish Transport Minister José Luis Abalos yesterday.

Travelers were stuck over the weekend as flights were canceled, before conditions improved overnight Sunday and flights resumed today morning, according to a tweet from the Transport Ministry.

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