Climate change: Dust storms sweep Iraq, scores hospitalised

Baghdad: Most parts of Iraq on Saturday were exposed to a dust storm for the third consecutive day, with dozens of people being admitted to hospitals to receive treatment for respiratory problems, Iraq’s Ministry of Health said.

The dust storm, whose intensity accelerated on Thursday evening, caused a lack of visibility in a number of areas and disrupted air traffic at Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports.

According to media reports, as the storm approached the south, it covered Baghdad and other cities in the south, including Nasiriyah, in a ghostly orange.

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The spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Saif Al-Badr, told AFP that the storm had caused “dozens of people to be hospitalized due to respiratory problems.”

It is reported that, during the past month, Iraq witnessed repeated dust storms, which led to the registration of large numbers of injuries and cases of suffocation.

Iraq has been classified by the United Nations as the fifth country exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, and some of those effects are already starting to appear in Iraq, including reduced rainfall, drought, reduced wheat production, and water scarcity.

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