The first thing most veteran Israelis did when they woke up this morning (Tues. Sept. 8) was to close all the windows in their homes.
A dangerous sand storm is sweeping through the region with a high concentration of breathable particles. A number of neighboring countries have already been hit, including Syria, where visibility dropped to almost zero on Monday.
The Environmental Protection Ministry warned that anyone suffering from heart or lung conditions as well as senior citizens, children and pregnant women should be cautious about physical activity outdoors. Students should avoid physical activity outside the classroom and all sports activities should be held indoors.
According to the ministry, this pollution is particularly dangerous and in severe cases – such as asthma, for instance – could be lethal.
The haze is predicted to continue to spread across Israel from the Golan Heights to Jerusalem and down into the Negev throughout the afternoon hours.
The tiny particles from the sand storm can make their way into the lungs, and into the bloodstream where oxygen is carried to the lungs and changed into carbon dioxide. This can lead to a number of different medical conditions, several of them deadly.