Massive dust storm forces schools, offices closed across Iraq – scene

Iraq, which has seen unprecedented sandstorms since April 2022, saw sandstorms in the country on Monday. Disrupting normal life in Middle Eastern countries, sandstorms forced the cancellation of large numbers of flights and closed schools and colleges.

As a result, large numbers of people with asthma were taken to hospitals in Baghdad and other cities. According to the BBC, visibility has decreased in different parts of the country due to fog.

A large number of pictures and videos showing orange fog on the country’s streets have gone viral. People were also seen walking on the streets with their noses covered due to thick clouds of dust across the area.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ahmed Zaman, a taxi driver, said: “It’s been three or four days now. This is obviously the result of climate change and a lack of rain. Whenever the wind blows, it just blows away the dust and sand. “

In its report, the Associated Press quotes several experts as saying that frequent sandstorms are the result of record-less rainfall, desertification and climate change. While Iraq is prone to seasonal sandstorms, a warning issued by the World Bank predicts that the country’s water resources could shrink by 20% by 2050.

Water supplies to Iraq have been declining for several years. Iraq is considered one of the five countries in the world open to desertification and climate change. In April 2022, an Iraqi government official warned that the country could face 272 days a year in the next 20 years.

Earlier, when the seventh sandstorm hit the country on May 5, 2022, about 5,000 people were hospitalized and one died.

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