May 24, 2022

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Sandstorm Suspends Flights, Many Iraqis Struggle to Breathe | Health News

By SAMYA KULLAB, Connected Push

BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqis rushed to hospitals with respiratory challenges Thursday and the Baghdad airport suspended flights for various hours as a thick sandstorm blanketed the place, the fifth to engulf Iraq in a month.

Iraqi state media claimed most of the sufferers endured respiratory challenges as clinics throughout the country’s north and west struggled to hold up with the inflow. Authorities urged citizens to remain indoors.

Iraqis awoke to an ochre-coloured sky — and a thick blanket of dust included the streets and properties with an orange film. Visibility was reduced and motorists kept vehicle headlights on to see the road.

Flights scheduled to depart overnight and on Thursday morning have been postponed, an airport formal informed The Linked Push, speaking on affliction of anonymity simply because he was not authorized to converse to reporters.

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Flights resumed by the afternoon, when the dust commenced to obvious.

Iraq is vulnerable to seasonal sandstorms but authorities and officers are boosting alarm about their frequency in new years, which they say is exacerbated by report-minimal rainfall, desertification and weather transform.

On the other hand, Azzam Alwash, head of the Character Iraq non-earnings organization, warned that “climate alter by itself does not give the complete picture” and that inappropriate farming methods and mismanagement of h2o methods have contributed to the complications.

“Climate transform has develop into a very effortless justification for officials to prevent obligation for not using action around the past 20 to 40 a long time,” he mentioned.

Desertification, resulting from outdated irrigation methods relationship back again to the Sumerian age, and growing drinking water salinity are also factors, he mentioned. “These are policy difficulties.”

The Globe Bank has warned that Iraq could go through a 20% drop in water resources by 2050.

Issa al-Fayad, an official with the Natural environment Ministry, claimed Iraq could deal with 272 times of sandstorms a yr in the coming a long time.

At the very least 700 men and women sought clinical treatment in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, and dozens much more in the provinces of Kirkuk, Salahaddin and Najaf, state Television set documented.

At the Sheikh Zayed Medical center in Baghdad, persons lined up outside the house the crisis place and team stocked up on a lot more meds as weather conditions forecasts predicted the storms would go on during Might.

Ayat Haitham, a nurse, was chaotic dealing with individuals but also tried out to reassure them that all the medicine made use of for managing respiratory complications and also oxygen had been “available in big portions.”

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