PHOTOS: Warnings issued as dust storm hits Kurdistan and Iraq
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A heavy dust storm on Saturday evening hit most of the cities in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, creating low visibility and breathing problem for many people.
The Kurdistan Region and Iraq are known to suffer from dust storms, especially in the past decade, during early winter and summer months as strong winds sweep up Iraq's vast deserts and covers urban areas throughout the country with sand and dust.
Erbil, Baghdad, and Anbar are the most affected areas, as the dust storm continued on Sunday.
Anbar, one of Iraq's mostly desertic provinces, has been heavily affected by the dust storm as Iraqi forces conduct military operations to retake the Islamic State's (IS) last stronghold in the country.
Authorities in the Kurdistan Region have also advised people to stay indoors until the storm settles.
Dozens of people were transferred to the Erbil Emergency Hospital to be treated for breathing problems, according to Kurdistan 24 Correspondent Goran Shakhawan.
In other areas, the storm severely damaged the shelters of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and cut electricity supply to Mosul for hours.
Editing by G.H. Renaud