World, Middle East

Thousands suffer as sandstorm hits Iraq

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain brace for dust storm

Ibrahim al-Khazen and Ali Jawad   | 16.05.2022
Thousands suffer as sandstorm hits Iraq Vehicles are on their way as dust cover the city during sandstorm in Baghdad, Iraq on May 16, 2022. Visibility degraded in traffic due to the sandstorm. ( Murtadha Al-Sudani - Anadolu Agency )

BAGHDAD

Thousands needed medical attention in Iraq due to a sandstorm, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

A ministry statement said nearly 4,000 people suffered respiratory problems due to the storm that struck several Iraqi provinces.

The storm has also forced the suspension of flights at airports in the capital Baghdad, Najaf and Sulaymaniyah in southern and northern Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Saudi National Center for Meteorology warned of dust storms in several areas in the oil-rich kingdom. A similar warning was made by neighboring Bahrain.

In Kuwait, air flights were temporarily suspended over the storm, according to the state news agency KUNA.

Dust and sandstorms have always occurred in the Middle East but grown more frequent and intense in recent years.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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