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Australia enduring heavy dust storms

Sept. 26, 2009 at 2:45 PM

BRISBANE, Australia, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales endured heavy dust storms Saturday that could impact travel at area airports, a forecaster says.

For the second time this week, dust storms were sweeping through Queensland cities like Brisbane on Saturday and senior forecaster Ben Annals told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the heaviest portion of the storms were due at nightfall.

"Basically it's going to arrive during the evening and it'll be dark anyway so basically I guess people probably won't notice too much while its dark, but it may have an effect on airports and such," Annals said.

Paramedic David Morris of the New South Wales Ambulance Service said Saturday's dust storms have resulted in an increase in emergency calls about respiratory problems.

"Thankfully it's not as busy as it was on Wednesday with the amount of dust that has been around but between seven and eight o'clock this morning we still had double our jobs for breathing problems compared to yesterday," Morris told ABC.

The recent storms left hazardous pollution levels in Sydney, health officials warn.

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