The latest bout of dust in the atmosphere was due to dissipate on Sunday after expected light rainfall, the head of the met office said.

Kleanthis Nikolaides told CNA on Sunday that April had seen unprecedented amounts of dust at higher-than-permissible pollution levels.

Climatological and historical data, he said, show that during the period from the end of February until summer, dust episodes are regularly recorded in ​​Cyprus, which, normally should be of a low frequency, short duration with low or medium particle concentration.

“However, there has been an increasing frequency in both the number of episodes, as well as an growing tendency towards particle concentration, as well as the duration of each episode,” he said.

In April, he added, Cyprus had at least 15 days of dust that necessitated yellow alerts due to the concentration of particles, which can be dangerous when they enter the respiratory system.

During the month of March, air quality was good, Nikolaides said as airflow had come from a northerly direction.

The latest bout of dust would dissipate over the day on Sunday but this did not mean the end of it. “It seems that the dust in the Cyprus area has come to stay,” he said. “Dust coming from the North African region now has an almost permanent presence in the region.”