Athens and other Greek cities covered in dust from Sahara sandstorm

Authorities have warned of possible mud rains and respiratory health risks

A massive dust storm blowing in from Africa has blanketed Athens and other Greek cities, tinting the sky yellow-orange, videos showed on Tuesday.
According to meteorological services, the Sahara dust storm will be accompanied by mud rains, mostly in the northern and western parts of the country.
The storm coincided with elevated spring temperatures, intensifying its impact, local weather reports stated. The winds are expected to shift direction westward on Wednesday, resulting in lower dust levels.

“This is a phenomenon that occurs these months… it is usually accompanied by southerly winds and an increased temperature,” the director of research at the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development at the National Observatory, Dr. Kostas Lagouvardos told Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
He described it as an “important environmental problem because it affects many people, especially when the concentrations are high on the ground.”

Doctors are warning of increased risks to citizens, especially those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.

The Sahara sandstorm forced Libya to suspend air traffic on Monday and Tuesday. It was accompanied by winds reaching up to 70 km/h, according to the Libya Observer. Video broadcast by local media showed a runway covered in a thick layer of sand.