Fresh sandstorm strikes Iraq


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SULAIMANI — A fresh wave of sandstorms stroke Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, on Monday (May 23) and is expected to last until Tuesday (May 24).

Iraqi meteorologist Sadiq al-Attiya told the Iraqi News Agency yesterday that the dust storm will decrease visibility on Monday, with its peak occurring around noon, and its impact will gradually weaken.

Flights were suspended due to poor visibility in some of Iraq's airports, including Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaimani airports.

Yesterday, the Iraqi Premier Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced one-day public holidays for most government offices due to the weather conditions brought on by the dust storm in the country.

This year, Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have been gripped by a series of dust storms, prompting hundreds of people to visit hospitals with breathing difficulties and causing disruptions to flights and schools.

While dust storms are common in Iraq, they are increasingly becoming more frequent and more severe. Experts have blamed climate change, desertification and drought.

(NRT Digital Media)