OVIEDO, Spain

Strong winds, blinding sandstorms, and wildfires throughout the Canary Islands have left thousands of tourists stranded at the popular holiday destination, according to local media and officials.

The freak weather situation has affected over 800 flights and between 12,000 and 14,000 passengers this weekend, and the region remains on alert.

Since Friday, high winds have been blowing sand from the Sahara Desert to the islands, a Spanish territory off the coast of northwestern Africa, and gusts are expected to continue until Monday evening.

Most airports have resumed operations but they are still recovering from the cancellations of hundreds

Read more: Sandstorm strands thousands on Canary Islands