Severe sandstorms in Iraq cause thousands of breathing problems: healthcare workers

Thousands of Iraqis have been sent to hospitals and clinics for treatment of breathing disorders after a series of sandstorms across central and southern Iraq, medical officials said Thursday.

At least 3,000 people sought medical assistance during a recent storm that began overnight on Thursday and covered the capital Baghdad and many other areas with thick haze, says hospital workers in some provinces. rice field.

View of the dusty sky during a sandstorm in Baghdad
A view of the sandstorm-covered sky during a sandstorm in Baghdad, Iraq, May 5, 2022. (Alaa Al-Marjani / Reuters)

Iraq has seen an increase in dust, sand and storms in recent years, including several in recent weeks. Most Iraqis say they can’t remember experiencing so many storms in such a short amount of time.

Iraq’s summers are getting hotter and hotter, reaching record temperatures of at least 52 degrees Celsius in the last two years.

The country’s agricultural sector, which relies heavily on the Euphrates and Tigris, also suffers from drought and rising heat. According to the United Nations, Iraq’s rainfall period from 2020 to 2021 was the second driest season in 40 years.

Baghdad News Room