Dust blankets entire country

Environment Ministry urges pregnant women, kids and elderly to stay inside.

dust in jerusalem 298 88 (photo credit: Blake-Ezra Cole)
dust in jerusalem 298 88
(photo credit: Blake-Ezra Cole)
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 have exacerbated the situation throughout the country. A woman in Oranim was lightly injured by an object that was blown into her by the wind. Magen David Adom reported twice as many complaints as usual from people saying they were having difficulty breathing. The Environment Ministry said its sensors had registered a high number of particles in the air that could impair breathing. Fearing naval accidents, the Haifa port has ordered all ships out of the harbor and into the Mediterranean Sea so that seven-meter high waves do not push the ships into one another. Sde Dov airport and Haifa's airport were also closed because the haze has drastically reduced visibility. Planes have been redirected to Ben-Gurion International Airport. The Hermon recreational site was also shut down Thursday morning to visitors and skiers, due to bad weather conditions. It was not yet decided when the area would reopen. The dust and haze are expected to dissipate by the late afternoon.