Dust storm in Iraq suspended flights at airports; 4000 cases of suffocation reported

Iraqi media sources reported a large dust storm in various parts of Iraq and the suspension of flights at Baghdad and Najaf International Airports due to low visibility.

Severe dust storms ripped through various provinces in Iraq on Monday.

Social media users also posted pictures of various provinces, including Najaf, Kirkuk, Babil, Wasit, Anbar, and Karbala, announcing that visibility in these provinces is almost impossible and offices of these provinces have been completely closed.

The official Iraqi News Agency also announced the closure of all offices, institutions, and schools in the aforementioned Iraqi provinces, except the health department, as well as the suspension of flights at Baghdad and Najaf Ashraf International Airports.

Iraqi Ministry of health recorded 4000 cases of asphyxia due to the dust storm that hit the country on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, the Ministry’s spokesman, Saif al-Badr, called on the elderly and those who suffer from cardio-pulmonary illnesses to stay at home, stressing that all medical institutions are in a state of emergency.

All medicines and medical equipment are available at the Ministry’s health centers throughout Iraq, al-Badr confirmed.

Dust storms have increased dramatically in frequency in Iraq in recent years, driven by soil degradation and intense droughts made worse by climate change, with rising average temperatures and sharply lower rainfall.

As the storm swept across Iraq, it shrouded the capital Baghdad and the holy city of Najaf in ghostly orange clouds of choking dust.

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