A destructive sandstorm consumed the Middle East for the second time since Monday, causing disruption in air strikes and air travel. Residents were forced to stay inside their homes and elicited health warnings across the scorching region.
Mother nature's wrath claimed at least eight deaths and hospitals have treated hundreds of people with breathing problems. On Monday, the sandstorm's direction swept in from the east and by the next day had consumed Israel, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, and parts of Cyprus and Turkey.
USA Today reported the sandstorm apparently originated in Saudi Arabia and was even large enough to be visualized from outer space. It will continue its course into Wednesday and will begin to dissipate by Thursday as per weather forecasters.
As visibility shoot down to 500 meters, aircrafts coming in Cyprus were redirected to Paphos from Larnaca.
A Cypriot official from the meteorological office told Reuters, "We have had sandstorms before, but not of this intensity. It's very rare for this time of year too and it's covering the entire region."
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group's Rami Abdulrahman said airstrikes in Syria against insurgents were lessened.
Lebanon's Health Ministry warned citizens especially those with health issues, elderly and pregnant women to stay indoors as much as they can and to come out only if the reason outweighs their safety but they have to wear face masks.
In Beirut, Lebanon, visibility was decreased to a considerable meters by the sea. In the sweltering humidity people moved lethargically with some workers putting on surgical masks to combat the swirling dust.
Meanwhile, restaurants and shops in Tripoli's northern coastal city remained closed in the stifling weather.
During the summer, dust storms hit the Middle East every now and then but usually settles on Iraq and Gulf province where billows of sand are whipped up from dry areas.
Head on to ABC News to get a glimpse of some disturbing images caused by mother nature's wrath: the sandstorm consuming the Middle East right now.