A sandstorm descended on Iraq, and sent at least 2,000 people to the hospital with breathing problems. It also led to the closure of airports, schools, and public offices across the country. Since mid-April, it is the eighth sandstorm to hit Iraq, which has been battered by soil degradation, intense droughts, and low rainfall linked to climate change. The last one earlier this month led to the death of one person, while 5,000 others had to be hospitalized for respiratory problems. Authorities in seven of Iraq's 18 provinces, including Baghdad, ordered government offices to shut.