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The Environment Ministry urged pregnant women, young children, those with respiration problems and the elderly to stay inside and refrain from strenuous outdoor activity Thursday because of the copious amounts of dust in the air. High winds exacerbated the situation throughout the country.
The third dust storm in six weeks, which blew in from Africa, covered Israel and caused respiratory distress to asthma patients. The Environment Ministry said its sensors had registered a high number of particles in the air that could impair breathing, but the rain on Thursday afternoon finally began to clear the irritating particles out of the air.
A woman in Oranim was lightly injured by an object that was blown into her by the wind.
Fearing naval accidents, the Haifa port ordered all ships out of the harbor and into the Mediterranean Sea so that seven-meter-high waves would not push the ships into one another.
Sde Dov airport and Haifa's airport were also closed because the haze drastically reduced visibility. Planes were redirected to Ben-Gurion International Airport.