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Severe sandstorm hits the Middle East leaving at least 12 people dead by September 9

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A massive sandstorm engulfed the Middle East on September 8, 2015, severely reducing visibility, killing at least 2 people and sending thousands to hospitals. By September 9, at least 12 peopble have been reported dead throughout Lebanon and Syria.

As visible on September 8th Terra/MODIS satellite image below, the storm is affecting parts of Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, UAE and Egypt.

Sandstorm affecting the Middle East on September 8, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS.

The meteorological department at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport described the storm as being 'unprecedented' in Lebanon's modern history.

Lebanon's Health Ministry said two people had died as a result of the storm and 750 people had been hospitalized with breathing problems, according to Reuters.

Country's weather department said the storm would continue into Wednesday with humidity between 65 – 85%, state news agency NNA reported.

Authorities of all affected countries are urging people to stay indoors.

Featured image: Sandstorm affecting the Middle East on September 8, 2015. Image credit: NASA Terra/MODIS.

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