The high dust levels affecting Cyprus over the weekend are set to decrease in the days to come, Met office director Kleanthis Nicolaides said on Monday.
Speaking to the Alpha morning show, Nicolaides said the dust levels on Sunday were well above acceptable limits, especially along the coastlines, where the dust concentration in the atmosphere measured around 800 to 850 μg/m3.
“The situation will definitely improve on Monday,” he said. “By this evening, dust levels are expected to return to more normal levels.”
Nicolaides said that both the frequency and duration of dangerous dust levels in Cyprus have increased in the past ten years, adding that phenomena such as the one affecting the island over the weekend “now occur throughout all seasons.
“This is one of the consequences of climate change, as indicated by all scientific studies on the matter,” he said.
“Due to the disturbance of the desert surface caused by various human activities, it is now much easier for the dust to be lifted and carried away, even very far.”
Asked about the likelihood of a new dust wave, Nicolaides said that “it is very likely, although it is difficult to forecast any scenario.
“In case of strong winds coming to the island from North African regions, yes, we might have increased dust levels once again.”