Canary Islands dust storm leaves tourists stranded in Tenerife and Gran Canaria

A major sandstorm has sparked travel chaos in the Canary Islands, with tourists stranded in the popular holiday destination.

Hundreds of Brits are stuck in Gran Canaria and Tenerife after powerful winds brought sand across from the Sahara desert.

The sky above the Spanish tourist hotspot turned red as all flights at Gran Canaria have been suspended.

Pictures from space show the full scale of the dust storm.

All outbound flights from Tenerife have also been grounded, leaving hundreds of Brit holidaymakers stuck.

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It comes as forecasters warn 75mph gales are set to blast the islands of Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote later today.

Brit holidaymaker Leigh Gayles is one tourist stranded in the Canary Islands after being meant to leave at 7.30pm yesterday afternoon.

"We've had no other information given to us other than the flights are cancelled," he told The Sun.

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He's been told that his flight is delayed until further notice.

Budget carrier Vueling, a subsidiary of IAG, said some of its services had been hit by suspensions, advising passengers to check up on their flights before heading to the airport.

The regional government in the Canary Islands has declared a state of alert and advised people to keep their doors and windows closed.

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All outdoor events, including carnival celebrations in Lanzarote's capital Arrecife, have been cancelled.

The gale-force winds have come as a rapid forest fire rages through Tasarte in Gran Canaria.

At least 150 hectares have already been torched by the fire which broke out at around 7pm on Saturday.

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Authorities have been forced to evacuate citizens from the area as emergency services tackle the blaze.

The Canary Islands are around 60 miles off the coast of Morocco, north Africa, and attract huge numbers of tourists from Europe.

In 2017, some 14.2m tourists came to the islands.

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