News ID: 208350
Published: 0227 GMT January 19, 2018

Dust storm cancels flights, shuts schools in Khuzestan + video

Dust storm cancels flights, shuts schools in Khuzestan + video
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Dust storm in southern city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan Province on Friday canceled and delayed several flights and caused the postponement of a football match.

Managing Director of the province’s Crisis Management Kiamars Hajizadeh said that schools in 16 cities of the province will be closed on Saturday following the dust storm.   

Concentration of dust and particles in the air in the city was 44 times higher than the considered safe levels, IRNA reported.

Iran considers the normal volume of particulate matter to be 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

A match between football clubs, Foolad and Paykan, in Iran Professional League was also postponed due to heavy air pollution.

The World Health Organization lists Ahvaz as one of the world’s most polluted cities, and for much of the year a yellow smog blankets the city.

Severe dust storms are the main reason behind shutdown of schools and government’s offices in the city in the year.

Last year, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved Iran’s proposed resolution titled “Combatting Dust Storms”.

Iran's Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo said that Iran is well familiar with the impacts of dust storms and for the same reason it has put countering it on its agenda.

He said that the UN resolution clearly emphasized that dust storms adversely affects public health, urging the UN and World Health Organization (WHO) to work out a global strategy to aid the affected countries.

Another part of the resolution calls on deputy secretary general of the UN to shape a global mechanism under its agencies to combat dust storms internationally and work out an action plan as well as midterm and long-term strategies, Khoshroo said.

Iranian residents in the western and southwestern provinces that border Iraq are facing a growing trend in the influx of fine particles, which are generated by drought-hit marshlands in neighboring countries.

The disruptive dust storms have pushed pollution in those border areas to alarming levels, raising health concerns.

The particles, carried by winds, can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing serious diseases such as lung cancer, asthma and heart problems.

Dust storm in southern city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan Province
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