80% Increase in Dust Storm-Related Injuries

Magen David Adom urges public to stay alert, indoors as over 600 people treated during dust storm; temperatures at record highs.

Tova Dvorin,

Day 2 of the dust storm: view of Jerusalem Wednesday
Day 2 of the dust storm: view of Jerusalem Wednesday
Yaniv Nadav/Flash90

Calls to Magen David Adom (MDA) medics over dust storm-related injuries jumped by 80% on Wednesday, after 407 people were treated due to the inclement weather - up from just 255 on Tuesday. 

Of the 632 total patients treated, 374 suffered from shortness of breath, asthma attacks, and other respiratory disorders; 175 people experienced complications related to heart disease; and 83 people have fainted, Walla! News reports. 

Hospitals which have seen the highest influx include coastal and southern (Negev)-area medical centers, as the storm has begun to gradually recede from Judea-Samaria (Shomron) and the Jerusalem area. A full 50% decrease in weather-related emergencies was recorded at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya. 

"MDA continues to remain alert following a heat and haze wave," Executive Director Eli Bin stated Wednesday night. "In order to avoid injury, I ask the general public to listen to MDA recommendations, and to pay attention to the most vulnerable populations - the elderly, children, and babies - and to drink more and to stay in shady and air-conditioned areas." 

Temperatures nationwide have reached record highs during the sudden dust storm.

Overnight, lows in the Dead Sea area and the Arava reached as high as 35C (95F); in the Emek Yizrael area, 29C (84.2F); in the coastal region, 28C (82.4F); 27C (80.6F) in the northern Negev; and 29C (84.2F) in the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) area. Humidity reached 85-95% in the coastal region, the Yizrael valley, and the northern Negev. 

Visibility is due to increase, and the dust to slowly subside, at a gradual pace between Thursday and Friday, according to meteorologists. Recent temperatures approaching 37C (100F) are due to peak for a final time Thursday, then subside slowly after Sunday, reaching average temperatures for Israel's summer season by the end of next week.