Sandstorm blankets Iraq, sends more than 1,000 to hospital

TEHRAN, May 05 (MNA) – Parts of Iraq have again been covered in a thick sheet of orange dust during the latest in a series of sandstorms that have become increasingly common.

AFP reported that dust had blanketed six Iraqi provinces, including Baghdad, Al-Anbar, Kirkuk, Najaf, Karbala, Saladin and Diwaniyah provinces, since Wednesday night.

More than 1000 people were hospitalised with respiratory problems in the country. According to the report, about 700 people have been hospitalized in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar, which borders the Syrian border.

A thick layer of orange dust settled across streets and vehicles, seeping into people's homes in the capital, Baghdad.

Sandstorm blankets Iraq, sends more than 1,000 to hospital

According to the official Iraqi News Agency (WAA), local officials have asked residents of the area not to leave their homes.

The director of information service for the Iraqi Meteorological Agency has announced that the intensity of the sandstorm will gradually decrease today, but the storms are likely to continue in various parts of Iraq this month.

Sandstorms have been reported in recent months in various parts of Iraq that the experts attribute these sandstorms to climate change, declining rainfall and desertification.

Recently, flights were grounded due to poor visibility at airports serving Baghdad and Najaf. 

Last November, the World Bank warned of a 20 percent reduction in Iraq's water resources by 2050 due to climate change.


News Code 186464


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