The dust storms that had plagued the people of Sistan Baluchistan since Friday have finally subsided to the arrival of the rain yesterday. The severe winds had brought the level of dust in Zahedan and other cities to 25 percent above acceptable levels.
Since February 20, severe dust storms had seriously affected life in Zahedan and other cities in the north of Sistan Baluchistan, forcing schools to close and roads to be blocked due to poor visibility.
The winds also caused power outages by damaging power lines and cables.
The cause of the dust storms has not been clearly identified yet. Some reports relate them to the 16 consecutive years of drought coupled with the 120-day monsoon winds over the shores of the Sea of Oman that could reach up to 80 km per hour. However, it is not yet time for the monsoon winds which usually arrive in May and June.
A Zahedan city official has told Khabar online that wind speeds in the past three days have been unprecedented causing many trees to fall and damaging many cars.
Baluch activists have been critical of the lack of media coverage of the catastrophic dust storms and the Department of Environment’s failure to adequately assess the region’s environmental problems and take decision action to remedy them.