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Dust Blowing off Socotra Island, Yemen

12.6N 53.9E

September 23rd, 2009 Category: Dust Storms

Yemen - September 1st, 2009

Yemen - September 1st, 2009

Two diagonal lines of dust blow to the northeast off the island of Socotra (also Soqotra) in the small archipelago of the same name. The Socotra Archipelago,  part of the Republic of Yemen (above), comprises four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia on the Horn of Africa (below), some 190 nautical miles (220 mi; 350 km) south of the Arabian peninsula.

The archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra, the three smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah, and Darsa, and small rock outcrops like Ka’l Fir’awn and Sābūnīyah that are uninhabitable by humans but important for birds.

The main island has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau permeated with karstic caves, and the Haghier Mountains. The mountains rise to 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The island is a little over 80 miles (130 km) long east to west and typically 18–22 miles (29–35 km) north to south.

The climate is generally tropical desert, with rainfall being light, seasonal (winter) and more abundant at the higher ground in the interior than along the coastal lowlands. The monsoon season brings strong winds and high seas.

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