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Jerusalem: Tuesday’s Haze from Sand Storm was a Record Breaker

sstThe haze and air pollution felt around Israel on Tuesday, 24 Elul, particularly in Yerushalayim, was truly a record breaker. Over 250 people were treated for respiratory problems directly connected to the haze and high level of pollution, which the experts explain were the result of a major sandstorm in the east. The pollution level reached five times the danger level in the capital.

According to the Meteorological Service, it was the worst haze measured in the past 75 years. While haze from sandstorms usually occurs annually, Tuesday’s set records with air pollution in Jerusalem reaching dangerous levels. Visibility in most areas was limited to one kilometer and it was less in Jerusalem. The Eilat Airport closed for a period of time due to limited visibility.

Hospital emergency rooms saw many patients, young and old, acutely and chronically ill, all complaining of difficulty breathing. Magen David Adom reports treating over 250 people, including 145 with shortness of breath and exacerbated asthma. One first grader, 6-years-old, was treated with oxygen to stabilize his condition. Five persons were treated in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and discharged to their homes after they were stabilized.

Ichud Hatzalah, MDA, the Health Ministry and other agencies urged the elderly, young, those with chronic cardiac and respiratory illnesses along with other high-risk categories to remain at home in air conditioned environments.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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