Traffic came to a crawl and people stayed in their houses as a sandstorm swept across the western region of Saudi Arabia on Monday afternoon. Saudi Arabia's General Directorate of Civil Defense said sandstorms had severely restricted visibility in various areas of Makkah province on Monday, including Jeddah, Makkah, Bahra, and Al-Jamoum, as well as neighboring parts of the region, Arab News reported. "There is a near-total lack of horizontal visibility all over Jeddah," the National Center for Security Operations tweeted. The authorities urged caution, particularly while driving, and stressed that residents of the affected areas should avoid lingering near scaffolding, lampposts, umbrellas, trees, billboards and construction work. Jeddah Islamic Port tweeted that navigation movement stopped at 11:30am "due to the increased speed of southeast winds which exceeded 36 knots, and the lack of horizontal vision visibility".