Ministry health

Yet another dust storm hits Iraq; Ministry of Health declares state of emergency (PHOTOS) | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel

People navigate a street during a dust storm in Basra, Iraq, Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

On Monday, May 16, another dust storm hit Iraq, bringing the total number of such storms to hit the country since April to more than eight.

The dust storm killed two people in the neighboring Syrian province of Deir el-Zour, according to the news agency SANA. Hundreds of people were taken to hospital with respiratory problems caused by the storm.

The numerous dust storms also sent thousands of Iraqis to hospitals, and at least one person died in a dust storm on May 5.

The Iraqi Health Ministry has declared a state of emergency due to the relentless dust storms. On Monday, Baghdad Governor Mohammed Jaber al-Atta suspended working hours, closing all departments in the province except the health ministry. Wasit, Diwaniyah and Babil provinces declared Monday a public holiday due to the weather.

The Associated Press reported that people were going to work and selling goods on the side of roads in Baghdad despite government warnings, citing financial difficulties.

Experts say the high frequency of dust storms this year is due to drought, rapid desertification and climate change, the AP reported.

Click through the slideshow above to see how people deal with deadly dust storms.

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