Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Sahara dust will persist in Cyprus through the week (Updated)

dust

A choking Sahara dust episode that has caused severe discomfort for residents in many areas across Cyprus is not expected to subside before at least the end of the week, according to a Meteorological Service prediction, as the high-pressure system and hotter weather of around 30 degrees continues.

Senior Air Quality and Strategic Planning Head Dr Chrysanthos Savvides told the Cyprus Mail that the episode, which begun early Sunday “was one of the worst on record, but not the worst”.

Concentrations remained well above the daily average for a second day running, with Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos values measured at almost four times the safe level of 50 μg/m3 around noon on Monday.

Μost areas remained on orange alert early in the afternoon.

This is the fourth episode in five days, as Savvides expressed the hope it will quickly pass, though conditions remain unfavourable.

The dust contains small particles of inhalable size, and can impact health, particularly of vulnerable populations.

Children, the elderly and the sick, are urged by relevant authorities to avoid circulating outdoors, while employers must take appropriate measures after assessing risks to personnel.

The Mediterranean region has become the focus of environmental effects research over the past decade, as pollution, climate change and deforestation are leading to a significant increase of such dust episodes, longer and more severe each time.

For information and updates on hourly measurements visit www.airquality.gov.cy or use the free mobile app Air Quality Cyprus

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