Photo: Dust covers Iran's Khuzestan
Khuzestan (IP) - Iran's flood-hit southwestern province of Khuzestan, which has been grappling with flash floods and heavy rainfall for several weeks, now is facing a new threat of dust storms and air pollution.
Iran Press/Iran news: Cities of Ahvaz, Abadan, Andimeshk, Imam Khomeini Port, Behbahan, Khoramshahr, Shushtar, port of Mahshahr, and Hendijan are some major cities of Khuzestan province which are blanketed by a thick layer of dust and air-borne particles.
The thick layer of dust covering Khuzestan province originates from deserts of northern Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and southern Iraq, according to satellite imagery and meteorology satellites.
According to an Iran Press report, dust particles have reduced air quality, and increased the air pollution index in Khuzestan province.
In recent years, the border province of Khuzestan has been facing a growing problem of fine dust particles, which are generated by drought-hit marshlands in neighbouring countries.
The particles, carried by winds, can penetrate the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing serious diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, and heart problems.
The dust problem in Khuzestan comes on top of recent flooding in the province.
Heavy rainfalls across Iran since March 19 have flooded some 1,900 cities, towns, and villages, at least killing 77 people and causing hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of damage to Iranian agriculture and infrastructures under threat of floodwaters as the nationwide death toll from the worst flooding in 70 years reached 77.
More than 200 villages were also evacuated in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan, and 46,000 people were housed in emergency shelters provided by the government.