At Least 4,000 Iraqis Reportedly Experience Breathing-Related Issues Due to Sand Storm
© AP Photo / Karim KadimAn Iraqi policeman wears a dust mask as he stands guard during a sand storm in Baghdad, Iraq (File)
© AP Photo / Karim Kadim
BAGHDAD (Sputnik) - At least 4,000 people have suffered from breathing issues as a result of heavy sand storms in the central, southern and northern parts of Iraq since the evening of May 15, media reported on Monday.
The number of victims of the sand storm increased to 4,000 from the previously reported 2,000 cases, the Iraqi News Agency reported, citing the country's health ministry. All affected Iraqis have received necessary medical assistance.
No fatalities have been reported yet, according to the health ministry.
Earlier in the day, the Iraqi health and electricity ministries declared a state of emergency in the country, suspending the operation of state institutions in Baghdad and six other Iraqi provinces amid severe storms that have been hitting the central, southern and northern parts of the country since Sunday evening.
Due to poor visibility, the Iraqi government also decided to suspend all flights from Baghdad and Najaf international airports. Schools and universities in seven provinces have postponed exams.
Sandstorms have been hitting Iraq for over a month, causing serious health damage to the population. After one of the most powerful storms in early May, over 5,000 people reported breathing troubles, which included choking, and one patient died.