Dust storm in Afghanistan

Tens of thousands of people have been suffering through months of devastating sandstorms in the Sistan Basin region the Middle East. Once an oasis surrounded by thousands of kilometers of desert, the Sistan Basins Hamoun Wetlands have all but disappeared, leaving the marshs light sediment to dry up and blow away in the winds. The Hamoun Wetlands straddled the border between Iran and Afghanistan, and were a major source of food and shelter for the people of Central Asia. But persistent drought conditions and increased irrigation and human mismanagement of the Helmand River have quickly turned these wetlands into arid saltpans. The frequent strong winds blowing through the region easily scoop up the dried silt and carry it aloft for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. Such dust storms appear to be increasing in frequency and severity as residents in southern Afghanistan report that, during the last several years, the skies overhead have been the dustiest in living memory. This is a true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) image from the Terra satellite on August 8, 2004. Iran is on the left side of the image, while Afghanistan sits at the top and Pakistan at the bottom.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Por Mapas Owje