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Iranians capture footage of huge dust storm blanketing capital

It’s been a while since we Arizonans have seen a haboob, so let’s look abroad and sympathize with those hit by a huge, rolling dust storm in Tehran, Iran, on Monday — one which caused a few fatalities.

The heavy dust storm roared into Iran’s capital Monday, blacking out the sun in a swirling cloud and tearing down trees in a squall that reportedly killed at least four people and injured 30.

The storm struck Tehran with winds of up to 68 mph, the state television reports. The report said the storm killed five people, while Iran’s official IRNA news agency said it killed four people as winds hit 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled.

The storm broke trees and plunged the capital into darkness for several minutes. It also caused a chain-reaction crash involving 20 vehicles on a highway south of the capital and international flights were canceled, according to the TV report. Air traffic controllers diverted several domestic flights to central Iran.

Authorities asked children and the elderly, as well as those with heart problems, to remain indoors due to the dust.

At least two videos — seen below — have been posted by YouTube users of the gigantic cloud of dust making its way toward through the city.

The first video, posted by user Bahar Tavakolian, is 20 seconds long and looks to have been shot from either an upper-level apartment or a rooftop of a tall building. The video’s description claims, “(Five) are reported to be dead and more than 50 are injured.”

The second clip is about a minute long and was shot from a high vantage point too — a rooftop in this case.

We feel your pain, Iran, as Arizona will probably be hit by a haboob or two before the year is over. Here’s hoping they don’t turn deadly like the Tehran one did.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.