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‘Cool, weird & scary’: Skies over Niger’s capital dyed BLOOD RED as massive sandstorm engulfs city (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

An enormous sandstorm over Niger’s capital turned the skies a deep crimson red as a towering wall of dust swept the city, creating an impressive and menacing spectacle that was captured on film by eyewitnesses.

The immense storm swept through Niamey on Monday, shrouding the city in an eerie reddish darkness, aptly summed up by an onlooker as “Kind of cool, kind of weird, kind of scary” in footage obtained by Ruptly.

Standing hundreds of meters tall, a vast dust cloud could also be seen as it swallowed the city, turning day to night for anyone standing in its path.

While no reports of damage or injuries have emerged from Niamey after Monday’s sand squall, dust storms are thought to drive surges in some illnesses – such as bacterial meningitis – in the Sahel region, which stretches across North Africa from Eritrea to Senegal. According to research published in 2016, the high winds can carry particles, including infectious bacteria, deep into the respiratory tract, suggesting sandstorms could play a role in outbreaks of some diseases.

Sandstorms are somewhat common across the Sahara Desert – where burts of warm winds frequently kick up large clouds of dust and debris – especially in arid regions of West Africa during its dry season, known as the “Harmattan,” which typically runs from January to April.

Also on rt.com Sandstorm from space: ISS astronaut snaps epic images of Sahara tempest

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