Iraq hit by major sand storm and capital city Baghdad has faced its ninth storm in less than two months. Experts are warning the unpresented series of storms in different cities of Iraq is an effect of climate change. Baghdad airport closes there airspace and cancelled all domestic and international flights.
On Monday 23rd of May Government of Iraq announce public holiday to people stay at home. Iraq is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Thick cloud of yellow and orange color sand covered the roofs, cars, building and even inside the homes in Baghdad. Buildings were closed and airports are shut due to heavy sand storms hitting the city. Air ports in Najaf and Sulaihmaniya are also closed in the day timings.
Iraq health ministry said more than 1000 people are send to hospitals due to sand storm getting respiratory and breathing problems.
The sand storms affected others parts of Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Kuwait. In pictures another big sandstorm brings Iraq to standstill. In seven of Iraq’s 18 provinces, including Baghdad. Government offices, Schools, Universities and Public administrations are closed till Sand hits the city.
Why this Happens in Iraq and Middle East ?
The vibrant orange color massive dust storm hitting the countries of middles east including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and many more.
It is likely to become more frequent due to drought and declining of rainfall. The trend has been associated with overuse of river water, making more dams in countries , overgrazing and deforestation. A dust storm reduced visibility and turn skies orange and it travel through Kuwait and other Middle Eastern countries on May 23rd.
A bright orange color sand storm hit the street of Kuwait city like the wild fires without the flames. In Tehran the Tip of Milad Tower the tallest tower in the city could barely be seen. In Mosul Iraq a wall of dust colored orange seen on the skyline. Many bridges seemed disappeared due to haze of the storm.
A large dust storm travels from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. The dust layer become thin over Saudi Arabia on Thursday 24th May and travel towards the Red Sea.
Different Names of Sand Storms
Sand and Dust storms of yellow and orange color Known as “Haboobs” and they always start from Middle East because of their region known as its Desert. These storms are start in the end of spring, start of summer from the North West of Middle East countries known as the “Shamal”.
Sand Storm cause mostly negative impact on society economy and environment.
What Experts Say about Sand Storms
Experts says by looking these storms are particularly intense because of climate change and the certification as above I said in Iraq at least 9 heavy sandstorms hit the country since start of April.
A lecturer of human development in Iraq said in statement that “we have had many more dust storms this spring than in the past year”. Sallam Abdul Rehman said that “Every dust storm has lasted from two to three days”.
An Environmental scientist named Benjamin Cook, also said, There are three elements responsible for the generation for making intense sand and dust storms are
- Strong Wind.
- Lack of Vegetation.
- Absence of Rainfall.
The environmental hazards of such storms cannot be reduced permanently but it can be reduced by taking by appropriate measures. The effects of sand and dust storms can be reduced by using health and safety measures to control environmental strategies on large scale. use of native plants and trees can reduced the wind velocity at the same time it increase the soil moisture.
Health, Social and Economic Impacts of Sand Storm on Society
As the dust cloud rises or sand storm starts it can impact human life in many ways. There are many particles in the storm contain bacteria, pollen, allergies and respiratory disease cause negative impact on human health.
- Increasing storms cause poor air quality.
- Dust Particles cause penetration of sunlight in water which impact marine life in the sea.
- It can increase difficulties relating to transportation, building and health.
- It can increase health from inhalation of fine dust particles.
- Road accidents are common due to poor visibility in the storm.
- Storms make physical damage to structure of building roads, hospitals and pools.
Which Precautions are useful in Sand Storms
- Take extra care of elderly and sick peoples.
- Make sure to use Dust masks.
- Use Wet Towel, Tissue on the nose and mouth.
- Drink lots of water and fluids.
- Clean your face, nose and mouth with water particularly.
- Close the doors and window of your house to make sure the dust is not entering to your house.
- Cutting your outdoor activities and stay inside the house.