Sandstorm struck on May 22 in Baghdad and several provinces of Iraq. According to the Associated Press, dozens of people were admitted to hospital with asthma attacks and respiratory damage. Iraqi authorities have asked citizens to not absolutely necessary to the streets.
Element exacerbated the situation on the main thoroughfares of the capital. Visibility on the roads of Baghdad did not exceed a few meters, kilometers-long traffic jams formed. To ensure the security was enhanced road patrol. The authorities were forced to close the local airport.
Sandstorms — a frequent occurrence in Iraq. They usually begin in March and continue until the end of May — beginning of June. Baghdad protected from the desert only a thin strip of arable land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.