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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Dust storm blankets Sydney - in pictures

Authorities warn residents of Sydney and other parts of New South Wales state to stay indoors

A large dust storm swirled over eastern Australia on Thursday, driven over the coast by a weather front barrelling across the drought-stricken interior.

Authorities warned Sydney residents of Sydney and other parts of New South Wales state who had respiratory or cardiovascular conditions to limit their time outdoors until the dust settled.

Adam Morgan of the Bureau of Meteorology said a low pressure system over South Australia and Victoria states had pushed strong winds across areas of western New South Wales that have experienced one of the worst drought seasons in years.

"This is the typical time of year for dust storms through inland Australia, but it is quite rare for dust to reach the east coast," he said.

Sydneysiders woke to find a haze over the city Thursday, but the air had cleared by the afternoon.