Sandstorm size of the United States Strikes Arabian PeninsulaIncredible satellite images have shown a massive sandstorm almost as large as the United States billowing across the Arabian Peninsula. The sandstorm wrecked havoc across the area last week, causing traffic accidents, the cancellation of hundreds of flights and triggering breathing difficulties among residents. Images show the vast sandstorm sweeping its way across Saudi Arabia, Oman and the United Arab Emirates and reaching as far east as India and Pakistan over a period of seven days.  It began on April 1, when high winds whipped up the sandstorm in northern Saudi Arabia before it consolidated and began moving southeastward across the peninsula to eventually cover an area almost as large as the United States, Discover Magazine reported. Along the way it caused chaos across the area’s major cities including Riyadh and Dubai, where some locations were reduced to zero visibility, streets turned a shade of orange and schools were forced shut.  The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies said: ‘The blowing sand reduced surface visibility to near zero at some locations, disrupting ground transportation, air traffic, and also closing schools. ‘Visibility was reduced to 0.1 mile for several hours at Dubai International Airport, which is one of the world’s busiest in terms of volume of flights.’ More than 450 Saudi Arabian Airlines flights were cancelled between Wednesday and Friday – which equals 33 per cent of the carrier’s 1,526 scheduled flights, the Saudi Gazette reported. On top of this, 678 flights were delayed and another 19 rerouted from airports in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam. FULL REPORT