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Most people don’t realize that dust storms and sandstorms can wreak havoc on communities, turning day into night and affecting hundreds of millions of people around the world. The International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms is here to recognize the need for increasing cooperation and raising awareness about these destructive meteorological threats! 

History of International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms

On June 8, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly declared that July 12 would be observed as the International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms. The purpose of the day is to encourage communities, governments and organizations to collaborate in their efforts to work preventatively and do combat against the devastating effects of these storms.

One of the important parts of observing this particular day is that communities will work together to lessen the impact of these storms when they come. Because dust storms and sandstorms can be made worse by large areas of soil that are left unplanted, a way to combat this is through planting cover crops like grass as well as farmers using newer tilling methods.

Preparation for sandstorms and dust storms can also include having supplies on hand such as masks and goggles as well as large plastic tarps to cover machinery or computers. Show some care and get more involved with the observance of International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms!

How to Celebrate International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms

Show some support and get more educated about the way that these acts of nature can deeply impact communities and regions, sometimes becoming so large that they can be viewed from space! Observe International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms with some of these ideas:

Learn Important Facts About Sand and Dust Storms 

Participate in the International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms by learning a bit more and gaining some knowledge regarding these natural phenomena. Consider some of these facts to get started with:

  • Sandstorms can reduce visibility, making daytime appear as darkness and creating danger for drivers.

  • In some languages, sandstorms are called “haboobs”. In Arabic, “hab” is a word that means wind.

  • Sand and dust storms can travel from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Some studies have shown that dust storms can increase the spread of disease across the globe as bacteria and fungus spores are blown into the atmosphere and then interact with urban air pollution.

Join Some Events about Sand and Dust Storms

In observance of this day, people might want to get involved by joining in on some live or online events. Educational events may be held, particularly in regions where sand and dust storms are often prevalent, helping communities and training local people to work more preventatively and to be prepared. Check out the United Nations webpage for the day to get more information. 

International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms FAQs

What is a sandstorm?

A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological event that takes place in arid or semi-arid regions where dust, sand or loose dirt is blown around.

Do dust storms cause damage?

Sand and dust storms may cause damage to property, add to traffic accidents and fatalities, increase the spread of disease, take down trees, cause soil loss and create others problems as well.[1]

What causes dust and sand storms?

Winds that blow strongly over dry, unplanted soil or sand can build up large amounts of dust into the atmosphere.

Are sandstorms dangerous?

Sand or dust storms do not usually pose a serious immediate health risk, but people who have breathing problems such as asthma may struggle, and these storms can increase the spread of disease.[2]

Is a dust storm a natural disaster?

Sand and dust storms are considered to be some of the most underrated natural hazards, with many cumulative negative effects.[3]

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