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Four Dead As Huge Dust Storm Hits Tehran
Four people have been killed as a huge dust storm and record winds hit Tehran, leaving the Iranian capital in darkness and forcing thousands to run for cover.
Trees were brought down, windows smashed and debris swept across streets, battering cars during the evening rush hour.
The storm's 70mph winds hit at 5.10pm local time on Monday and left at least 50,000 homes without power, according to an electricity official.
Iran's ISNA news agency said the deaths had been caused by falling trees.
Seven thousand emergency workers were deployed in the hour after the storm hit, according to city officials, while at least 27 people were reported injured.
Ten people were hurt in a road accident amid the murky conditions, said the country's chief emergency official Amin Saberinia.
State television said two of the injured were in a critical condition.
Social media users posted pictures of a giant sand cloud looming over the city before the blackout hit and temperatures plunged from 33 to 18C.
The streets largely returned to normal several hours after the storm but forecasters are warning of more bad weather lasting until Wednesday.
Tehran's residents are used to taking shelter against natural phenomena as Iran is crossed by several fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes.