The sky above the Sudanese capital of Khartoum turned blood red on Thursday (1 June) after a huge dust storm towered above and engulfed the city.

In what looked like a scene from an apocalyptic film, video footage shows a thick wall of dust approaching the city and quickly blanketing its buildings, cars and people.

The clip, believed to have been filmed by a resident, shows the dust block out the sun, reducing visibility significantly so that only the silhouettes of buildings can be seen through the red haze.

Motorists travelling on the city's roads are also seen putting on their hazard lights as they battled to drive through the difficult conditions.

Dust or sand storms – known locally as "haboobs" – usually occur when air is forced down and pushed forward by the front of a travelling thunderstorm.

Creating a wall of dust often several hundred metres high, the impact can be destructive to homes and crops as huge quantities of sand or dust are dumped on the landscape. Sudan has seen an increasing number of dust storms following years of desertification.

Climate change experts have also warned that rising temperatures, increasingly scarce water supplies and low soil fertility could see parts of the African country become uninhabitable.

"North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable," Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, told CNN in December last year. "That will string from Morocco all the way through to Saudi Arabia."

Droughts and floods caused by irregular rain have already made arable land more difficult to farm. Sudan's temperature is estimated to rise between 1.1°C and 3.3°C by 2060.

Michelle Yonetani, a senior advisor on disasters from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, said the country is facing a "hugely complex emergency situation".

"Drought aggravates desertification which affects the savannah belt in the northern region – so these encroaching deserts have been displacing entire villages."

Residents filmed on their cameras as a thick wall of dust approached Sudan's Khartoum on 1 June Storyful