Canary Islands Sandstorm


Calima hit the Canary Islands resulting in one of the worst sandstorms the citizens had ever experienced

A sandstorm, that came from the Saharan desert, engulfed the Canary Islands and covered it in a blanket of dust over the weekend. Strong winds sent sand to various tourist locations and created an orange hue as shown in the image above. The sandstorm brought reduced visibility levels and high winds up to 120 km/h which disrupted the travel plans of thousands of people that weekend. Flights from all of the airports were either cancelled, suspended, or diverted which left tourists stranded and unable to return to their home countries.


On Sunday, the sandstorm known as ‘Calima’ in the local area, was reported to have affected 822 flights, however the figures could be higher. By Monday morning, Spain’s Ministry of Transport announced that the weather conditions had improved by a significant amount over night which allowed flights to be resumed although most of them were resumed with a reduced capacity. Despite flights entering and exiting the Canary Islands and an improvement in weather conditions, many schools across the islands were closed as a safety precaution due to worries of winds reaching higher levels.


Within this time period, the government in the local region advised people to stay indoors and advised them against traveling. The President of the Regional Government,Ángel Víctor Torres, announced that the sandstorm was the worst storm that had faced the area in the last 40 years. He followed his statement by ensuring public that around 1000 people in affected areas in northern Tenerife had been evacuated from their homes but would return when it becomes safer.