Sistan-Baluchistan Province is facing alarming air pollution levels, with officials reporting that the concentration of suspended particles has reached 20 times the acceptable standard.

IRNA reports that the northern cities in the southeastern province are now under heavy dust storms.

The head of Sistan-Baluchistan environmental affairs has pointed to continued droughts and soil erosion as some of the main causes of the deteriorating air quality.

A city councilor in Hirmand described the sand storms as a “death crisis.”