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Severe sandstorm slams Israel

April 1, 2013 at 3:43 PM

HAIFA, Israel, April 1 (UPI) -- Israeli environmental officials said the country was experiencing its worst sandstorm in four years, with air pollution levels 40 times higher than usual.

Conditions halted some air travel Monday and limited visibility to less than 1 mile.

Air pollution was particularly severe in the coastal city Haifa, Haaretz reported. Health ministers advised people with medical problems and pregnant women to remain indoors.

Forecasters said the large amount of desert sand blew in from Egypt and Libya. The sandstorm affected Cairo, as well, officials said.

Cooler weather Monday night and Tuesday was expected to cause the storm to abate.

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