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Freak sandstorm kills 4 in Tehran

A storm in the Iranian capital leaves 4 dead, buildings damaged, and trees uprooted
Storms wreak havoc on Iran's capital city Tehran Monday (Twitter/Negar Mortazavi نگار)

At least four people have reportedly died in freak storm in Tehran which plunged the capital into darkness on Monday. A massive sandstorm and record winds damaged buildings, knocked out power supplies and caused widespread disruption in the capital, according to reports. Around 5:10pm (1240 GMT), the storm struck, sending residents dashing for cover as debris swept across streets and snapped trees in half. State media reported 120 kilometre (80-mile) per hour winds. Early reports did not give details of casualties or damage, but experts on state television warned Tehran residents to stay indoors. "This is like an apocalyptic Hollywood movie," said a woman running into a shop in the capital's central business district to escape the gales. "I'm scared." "I've never seen anything like this. I was afraid it was an omen of things to come," a man inside the same building said. After a 15-minute period of gloom caused by the sandstorm, it started to rain with winds remaining strong. State television's main weather forecaster, Mohammad Asghari, warned that the bad weather could continue. Flights out of Tehran were delayed, Fars news agency said, quoting airport officials. Internet and telephone services were heavily affected. About 90 minutes later, the winds appeared to ease and cars returned on the streets, although many opted for caution, staying on in office buildings. Here are a few pictures of the weather shared on social media:

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