At least four people were killed and 30 injured when Tehran was hit by a powerful dust storm on Monday afternoon, with winds reaching up to 80-miles-per-hour.
Additionally, the dust storm caused flight cancellations at Tehran’s International Airport, fallen trees, and dozens of car accidents due to poor visibility.
Some incredible photos have been posted by news agencies and Twitter users online, check it out:
An “unprecedented” dust storm is blamed for deaths & power outages in Tehran: http://t.co/JLy3cbw2Nc pic.twitter.com/xOFgm4QMln
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) June 2, 2014
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) June 2, 2014
— Meet Iran (@MeetIran) June 2, 2014
— Golnar Motevalli (@golnarM) June 2, 2014
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) June 2, 2014
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) June 2, 2014
According to reports on state television, the Tehran dust storm had winds of 68-mph, while the official IRNA said five people were killed and sustained winds reached 80-mph.
The dust storm uprooted trees all over Tehran and caused a massive 20-car pile up on the highway south of the Iranian capital. International flights were cancelled and several local flights had to be diverted to other regional airports in central Iran, officials said. About 50,000 residents lost their power during the storm.
According to the independent news agency Fars, the dust storm that hit Tehran on Monday was “unexpected and rather unprecedented.”
Nick Wiltgen, a meteorologist for Weather.com, said the official observations at Tehran’s Mehrabad International Airport showed a severe thunderstorm with wind gusts up to 69 mph at 5:30 pm local time (9:30 am/ET), and the temperature dropped from a steamy 91 degrees to 61 degrees in a matter of minutes.
A Haboob or intense dust storm occurs regularly in dry areas of the world, such as Iran — even though they are not as common in Tehran — as a result of air being forced down and pushed forward by a traveling thunderstorm cell, taking it dust and debris with it, according to The Weather Channel.
When a dust storm like the one that took Tehran by surprise happens, it is capable of creating a wall of dust that can shoot 10,000 feet into the sky, turning a sun drenched late afternoon into a apocalyptic nightmare.
[Images via YouTube]