Thick dust continues to disrupt life in the provinces of Khuzestan and Western Azerbaijan, keeping government offices and schools closed. Meanwhile, a number of cities in Lorestan and Ilam have also been affected by the dust particles, according to reports from Iran on Tuesday February 10.

Ahwaz officials told the Mehr News Agency that the level of dust particles in the air has not improved and remains at 66 times the acceptable limit.

IRNA reports that visibility has been reduced to 150 metres during the day.

The persistence of dust has seriously disrupted people’s lives as breathing has become very problematic. A group of people gathered in front of the governor’s office today to demand swift action from the authorities.

The Fars News Agency reports that the people gathered in front of the governor’s office with masks on their faces complained that the head of the Department of the Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar’s, had postponed his trip to Ahwaz due to heavy dust.

Authorities report that all hospitals and medical facilities are on alert, and the Shooshtar representative in Parliament has also reported that a budget of 300 billion toumans has been approved to counter desertification and the problem of dust particles in Khuzestan.

President Rohani has also issued a message to the people of Khuzestan on Instagram, saying he is seriously following up on the air-quality problems in Khuzestan and will duly inform them of any developments.