The third African dust episode in four days plagued the island on Sunday with readings reaching as high as 425µg/m³ recorded in Paphos, almost nine times above the safe level of 50.
Residents in the western coastal city posted on social media that people were wearing masks on the streets, and experiencing “a choking feeling”.
In Nicosia, the highest reading reported by the Air Quality Cyprus web page, created in cooperation with the Labour Inspection department, was 341, almost seven times higher than the safe level.
Larnaca and Limassol were lowest, but still more than double the limit of dust concentration.
A relevant warning was in place for the whole day, with the phenomenon not expected to subside until late Monday.
It is believed to be one of the worst dust episodes over the past couple of decades and the fifth this year, as a long, dry summer is predicted, favouring yet more dust incidents.
‘Dust’ refers to respirable particulate matter of a diameter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) in the air.
More information on pollutant concentrations and real-time updates is available at www.airquality.gov.cy.