World

Temperatures soar across Middle East, with winds, sandstorms driving people indoors

  • Laborers cover their faces as they ride a truck on a highway in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, during a sandstorm and a heat wave. Temperatures are soaring across the Middle East, with winds and sandstorms driving people indoors as unlucky pedestrians try to shield themselves from the sun with books, newspapers or anything they can find. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

    Laborers cover their faces as they ride a truck on a highway in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, May 27, 2015, during a sandstorm and a heat wave. Temperatures are soaring across the Middle East, with winds and sandstorms driving people indoors as unlucky pedestrians try to shield themselves from the sun with books, newspapers or anything they can find. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Palestinian families enjoy themselves at the beach of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Palestine is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures reaching about 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

    Palestinian families enjoy themselves at the beach of the Mediterranean Sea in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Palestine is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures reaching about 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Gaza Strip. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Israelis and tourists relax on the beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Israel is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures reaching about 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

    Israelis and tourists relax on the beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Israel is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures reaching about 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

Temperatures are soaring across the Middle East, with winds and sandstorms driving people indoors as unlucky pedestrians try to shield themselves from the sun with books, newspapers or anything they can find.

In the Egyptian capital, Cairo, the thermometer hit 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius) at midday Wednesday, a level rarely touched this early in the year.

Air traffic control in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria said a sandstorm obscured visibility so badly that they had to shut down Burj Al Arab airport and divert three flights to Cairo that were coming from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In Libya, a sandstorm in the east blew up dust that was orange-red, driving residents of the city of Beyda indoors where air-conditioning use increased, leading to a few hours of power cuts.