Greek Capital Enveloped by Saharan Dust Creating Orange Haze

Dust clouds originating from the Sahara desert in North Africa blew across the Mediterranean Sea, turning Greece’s sky orange on Tuesday. Historic landmarks in the country’s capital Athens, including the ancient citadel of Acropolis, were enveloped in orange dust.

One image, taken from the famous Tourkovounia hills that bisect the city of Athens, depicts a man wearing a face mask taking a photo of the Mars-like view of the city. A second man can be seen nearby riding a bicycle.

Another image shows several individuals sitting on a cliff, having made the journey to the Tourkovounia hills by car and motorcycle to catch a glimpse of the unusual view. You can see the city’s ancient architecture covered under an orange glow.

While the orange-covered scenes might look striking, dust clouds from the Sahara do come with health risks, especially for people with asthma or underlying health conditions. staying indoors as much as possible when Saharan dust is present, since exposure can increase your risk for respiratory disorders and cardiovascular events.

“It’s one of the most serious episodes of dust and sand concentrations from the Sahara since March 21-22, 2018, when the clouds invaded the island of Crete in particular,” Kostas Lagouvardos, a weather research director at the Athens Observatory said,.

The winds that blew the Sahara dust to Greece also appear to be causing an increase in wildfires. There were reported by the country’s national first responders, the Hellenic Fire Department, on Tuesday. The skies are expected to clear up later in the day on Wednesday, as winds blow the dust away.