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Dust Storm Envelops Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon

The Gaza marina enveloped in dust this afternoon. Photograph shared by  @shawajason on Twitter

The Gaza marina enveloped in dust this afternoon. Photograph shared by @shawajason on Twitter

A huge dust storm is passing through the Western part of the Middle East today and tomorrow, reducing visibility in some countries and sending people to hospital for treatment from respiratory diseases in others. The dust frenzy covers Lebanon, where at least five people were killed and 750 treated in hospital for asphyxiation, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and parts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey and Cyprus. The storm, photographs of which are being shared far and wide on social media is rare in this part of the Middle East, which doesn't usually get this phenomenon, more common in Saudi Arabia.

Here is a snap shot of some of the photographs shared of the dust storm.


In Jordan, the United Nations Refugees Agency (UNHCR) shares this photograph from the Zaatari Refugee Camp, home to some 80,000 Syrian refugees escaping the war in their country:


Syrian refugees in Lebanon are not faring any better. Khaled Kabbara, UNHCR external relations associate, shares those photographs showing their dismal conditions:

Alex Thomson shares this video on Twitter of the storm engulfing Beirut, saying that “the people of Beirut say they can't remember seeing anything like it before in living memory”:


BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen, who is currently reporting from Syria, has been posting weather updates on his Twitter account since the start of the storm yesterday.

This morning, he asks:


Samer Al-Atrush shares this photograph from Cairo:


And this photograph is shared by @ygurvitz of Tel Aviv at midday today:

NASA Photographs:

Geomorphologist Rob Bryant, from Sheffield, UK, shares those NASA photographs on Twitter:

The storm is expected to continue tomorrow (Wednesday, September 9).

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