Iran hit by rise in dust storms

Twenty three provinces of Iran are currently affected by continuous series of hazardous dust storms that enter the country especially from Iraq. However, there are also several local areas within Iran that send dust particles into the air, which is then carried over to residential zones.
[Lake Urmia - 2015]

Dust storms entering Iran from Iraq and Syria deserts disturb daily life in western and southwestern parts of Iran. Several flights from Abadan's international airport have to be cancelled regularly due to the poor visibility caused by increased dust in the air.

Like Lake Urmia, Lake Bakhtegan in southern Fars province, once a common stopping point for migrating flamingos, is drying up, its salinity levels becoming a hazard to the birds. Fed by the Kors River, the lake has dried up completely at times in the past decade. ​Earlier this year, the Lake Bakhtegan dried up completely and caused several salt storms in nearby areas. Sand storms and flooding are also regular occurrences near the lake. Development along the Kors River, both urbanization and the building of dams, has been blamed for the significant reduction in water to the lake.

On very dusty days health officials warn residents with heart and respiratory problems to stay at home. The Iranian government has apologized for not being able to tackle the problem of dust, sand and salt storms that have been sweeping ever increasing parts of the country over the past several years. “Tackling the dust may not fall within the tenure of the incumbent government,” Deputy Director of Environment Department Said Motesaddi said.

The official said the government has gone as far as to identify the sources of the dust inside the country, which effectively means that they haven't done anything to counter or resolve the problem

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