Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Red and orange hues piggyback
'extremely rare' dust storm Down Under

A dust storm rare in the sense that it brought along a colored haze -- red and orange hues in some parts -- swept across Australia on Wednesday. The Sydney Opera House turned orange, flights at Sydney and Brisbane airports were delayed, building sites shut down, workers choked and emergency departments were flooded with calls in the worst dust storm to hit Australia in 70 years.

At Sydney airport, where visibility was cut to 400 meters, flights were canceled while several international flights were diverted to Melbourne, where flights were also delayed, as they were at Brisbane airport in Queensland.

Barry Hanstrum, a weather official at the NSW meteorology bureau, said the storm was "one of the worst, if not the worst. An event like this is extremely rare."

As you might imagine, photographers in Australia -- professionals and amateurs alike -- got out to capture the spectacle. I don't have permission to copy photos that I've seen taken by these photographers Down Under, but here are some links you can check out to see what it was all about.

The first link below takes you to a story and video about the storm. The second link takes you to the Web site, a global community of photographers based in Australia that encouraged its Down Under members to post their images from the storm.

Story and video of storm from Sydney site photo gallery

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