·

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

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

Leave a reply