Karachi, Lahore, Delhi and more — These are the cities with the worst dust storms in the world

Aug 27, 2021

By: Mona Pachake

Karachi, Pakistan — Number of dusty days — 265

At least four people were killed in roof collapse incidents after a dust storm followed by light rain hit parts of Karachi in May this year. This was caused due to the influence of the cyclone system in southern Pakistan's vicinity.

Credit: BCCL

Lahore, Pakistan — Number of dusty days — 194

Dust storm, followed by rainfall, which hit Lahore in the month of June in 2018, claimed the lives of at least four people and left thirteen others wounded. It struck the capital city of Islamabad and Lahore.

Credit: BCCL

Delhi, India — Number of dusty days — 176

Delhi witnessed a heatwave in July this year as dry hot westerly winds from central Pakistan were blowing over the national capital and other parts of northwest India at the speed of 20-30 kilometres per hour.

Credit: BCCL

Ahmedabad, India — Number of dusty days — 173

People in Ahmedabad experienced a dust storm in the month of April this year and that continued for an hour. Later in the night, parts of the city witnessed lightning strikes.

Credit: BCCL

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran — Number of dusty days — 104

On June 2, 2014 a sandstorm hit Tehran, the capital city of Iran which killed 5 and injured 44 people. The state media reported winds of more than 70 miles per hour.

Credit: BCCL

Surat, India — Number of dusty days — 84

Ahead of cyclone Tauktae, Surat witnessed a dust storm and light drizzle in May, this year. Hoardings and towers were removed from the places where it posed a threat of accidents.

Credit: BCCL

Mumbai, India — Number of dusty days — 67

The dust storms that happened in Mumbai in 2015 was the effect of the sandstorm that took place in the Persian Gulf. The dust was mixed with pollutant particles already present in the air.

Credit: BCCL

Xi’an, Shaanxi (China) — Number of dusty days — 46

A severe haze pollution incident had happened due to unfavourable weather conditions and a northern air mass occurred in eastern, northern, northwestern, and southwestern China from January 15 to January 22, 2018. The most polluted cities were Handan, Zhengzhou, Xi’an, Yuncheng, Chengdu, Xiangyang, and Jinan.

Credit: BCCL

Pune, India — Number of dusty days — 36

The particulate pollutants in the city’s environment have risen in the past seven years, according to a joint report by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), 2019. At the national level, Pune was ranked 79th in air pollution in 2020-21 according to the Centre for Science and Environment.

Credit: BCCL

Kolkata, India — Number of dusty days — 31

An analysis of the National Clean Air programme by environmental non-profit Climate Trends in 2021 showed that the lack of adequate monitoring on polluting industries was the main cause behind the level of pollution.

Credit: BCCL

Sand and Dust Storms Risk Assessment in Asia and the Pacific

The risk assessment was conducted, and this report was prepared under the direction of Letizia Rossano, Director of the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM).

Credit: Wikipedia

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