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Iraq Comes to Standstill From Heavy Sandstorm
A man rides his bicycle during a sandstorm in Iraq's southern city of Basra on May 16, 2022. (Hussein Faleh/AFP via Getty Images)

Iraq Comes to Standstill From Heavy Sandstorm

Iraq came to a near standstill after a heavy sandstorm rolled in, one of several such storms in recent weeks. Monday’s sandstorm halted flights at Baghdad International Airport because of low visibility, and also closed all local government institutions, except for health services. Some state schools also were closed. Meanwhile, hundreds of people across Baghdad and Iraq’s southern cities visited hospitals complaining of breathing difficulties. Iraq has seen record temperatures of at least 52° Celsius in recent years. Meanwhile, maritime activity at three ports in Kuwait – Shuwaikh, Shuaiba, and Doha – as well as flights at Kuwait International Airport, were canceled due to the sandstorm. Schools and government offices also were shut down in the Iranian capital of Tehran as well as in other areas of the country, a week after schools closed down in the capital because of a similar storm. The final of the Qatar Football Association’s Amir Cup also was rescheduled on account of the storm.

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