Sandstorm Wave Sweeps Middle East
It sent thousands to hospital
On Monday, a bright orange glow bathed the streets of Kuwait City, like a wildfire without flames. In Tehran, the tip of the Milad Tower, the tallest structure in the city, could barely be seen. In Mosul, Iraq, a wall of dust blotted out the skyline. Further south, bridges disappeared into the haze.
At least one dust storm began on Monday in Iraq and traveled to Saudi Arabia, satellite imagery showed. NASA data showed dust reaching more than three miles into the sky, said Hiren Jethva, a Morgan State University and NASA scientist. The dust layer thinned over Saudi Arabia on Thursday and migrated toward the Red Sea.
More than 1,000 people were hospitalized across Iraq with respiratory problems as of Monday, Health Ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr told Agence France-Presse. The Iraqi government declared a national holiday Monday to keep people in their homes.
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