JERUSALEM, Sept. 8 (UPI) — A massive sandstorm shrouded the Middle East on Tuesday, moving eastward across parts of Israel, Cyprus, Syria and Turkey, and provoking public health warnings.
Jerusalem was covered by brownish-yellow fog Tuesday. Lebanon’s state news agency said two people have died so far, and more than 80 were treated for breathing problems.
The weather also stopped combat and military helicopter takeoffs in Syria’s Hama and Idlib provinces, Syrian state media reported. Dozens of people were hospitalized across the affected region, and the young, pregnant and elderly were advised to stay indoors.
On the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, at least 10 people were hospitalized with breathing difficulties.
Meteorologists said the poor visibility and breathing conditions caused by the high concentration of sand particles in the air will dissipate by the end of the week and will be followed by a heat wave.
Residents of Beirut were advised not to burn trash accumulated on city streets, and Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry ordered schools to keep students indoors Tuesday.