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The ninth dust storm in Baghdad in six weeks

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Another dust storm covered the sky of Baghdad on Monday, May 23, 2022. Air traffic had to be suspended completely due to visibility of no more than 400 meters. a frequent phenomenon.

The landing and take-off runways are barely visible amid a thick yellow cloud. A dust storm paralyzed Baghdad airport for several hours. The streets of the Iraqi capital were almost deserted, and shops and public offices were closed.

In the vicinity of the city, shepherds with their flocks were looking for shelter, in vain. More than a thousand people across the country had to be treated in hospitals for respiratory diseases.

These high winds and sand-laden dust are no longer unusual for Iraqis. This is the ninth storm in six weeks. And this should not improve, because Iraq is one of the five countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change, according to the United Nations.

Over the next twenty years, the Ministry of Environment expects 272 dust days. In 2050, the 300-day threshold will be reached. The authorities are recommending the creation of green belts, which should serve as “windbreaks”, at a time when desertification is already affecting nearly 40% of the country.

After the storm hit Iraq, the storm swept through neighboring Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which are also increasingly used to these dust-laden clouds.

Read again: Iraq is still stuck in a dust storm

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