Dozens of people have sought medical assistance at hospitals in Iraq, suffering from breathing difficulties due to dust storms that hit several areas across the nation, medical sources said.
"Hospitals received dozens of Iraqis after they were exposed to suffocation and breathing difficulties because of the suffocating dust," a medical official said on Sunday, on condition of anonymity.
Iraq's state news agency INA reported that five Iraqi provinces including Baghdad and Najaf were shrouded in dust storms on Sunday, causing an unspecified number of people to suffer serious breathing-related problems.
The storms also dramatically reduced visibility levels and two major Iraqi airports were forced to shut down.
Aviation authorities temporarily halted flights at airports in the capital Baghdad and Najaf in southern Iraq due to the bad weather, the agency said.
"Flights will be suspended until visibility improves," INA quoted officials at Najaf airport as saying.
Dense clouds of orange dust descended on some cities, Iraqi media showed.
Australian Associated Press