·

Severe dust storm hits Iraq, forcing more than 5 000 people to seek medical assistance

iraq dust storm may 5 2022

More than 5 000 people were forced to seek medical assistance while one person died after a severe dust storm swept over large parts of Iraq on May 5, 2022. This is the 7th dust storm to hit the country so far this month.

According to the health ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr, one death has been recorded in Baghdad while hospitals across the country received no less than 5 000 people seeking help.1

“This statistic is not final. Most of the cases are minor to moderate, and most of the people have already left the hospitals.”

The worst affected are people with chronic respiratory diseases and the elderly who suffer in particular from heart ailments, al-Badr said, urging people with chronic diseases such as asthma to avoid leaving their homes.

iraq dust storm may 5 2022 bg
Dust storm over Iraq on May 5, 2022. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS, The Watchers

Satellite images acquired on Friday, May 6, show a huge cloud of dust is now present further south over Saudi Arabia.

saudi arabia dust storm may 6 2022
Dust storm over Saudi Arabia on May 6, 2022. Credit: NASA Terra/MODIS, The Watchers

While dust and sandstorms have always occurred in the Middle East they have grown more frequent and intense in recent years, a trend that has been associated with overuse of river water, more dams, overgrazing and deforestation.2

An environment ministry official warned last month that the country could face 272 days of dust per year in the coming decades.3

In recent years, Iraq has seen record low rainfall and summer temperatures regularly exceeding 50 °C (122 °F).

Iraq’s water reserves are already 50% lower than last year, and the water resources ministry has warned that the vital Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which provide most of the country’s surface water, could dry up within 20 years.

References:

1 The Ministry of Health records more than 5,000 cases of suffocation due to dust storms – Iraqi News Agency – May 5, 2022

2 Thousands sick as latest severe sandstorm sweeps across Iraq – AFP – May 5, 2022

3 Iraq dust storm leaves 5,000 people needing treatment – BBC – May 5, 2022

Featured image credit: N1 (stillshot)

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *