Sep 9, 2015

Unseasonal dust storms blanket Middle East, 5 people killed

Amman
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Beirut
Hama Governorate
Damascus
Jordan,
Israel,
Lebanon,
Syria
by
CCTV America
A woman wears a mask in the Mediterranean Sea beach during a sandstorm in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Photo: Oded Balilty, AP
A woman wears a mask in the Mediterranean Sea beach during a sandstorm in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Photo: Oded Balilty, AP

An unseasonal sand and dust storm swept across the Mideast this week, blanketing Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Cyprus and causing the deaths of at least five people and sending hundreds of others to hospitals with breathing difficulties, officials said.

Environmental advisor Naji Kodeih warned on Wednesday that climate change is affecting the frequency and scale of sandstorms in the Middle East.

Speaking at the Climate Change Social Impacts on the MENA Region Conference, Kodeih said the latest sandstorm posed severe health risks to the local population as it contained ultra-fine particles that were “more likely to enter your bloodstream, carrying all the pollutants in the air”