The Dust Cloud over Athens: A Rare Phenomenon


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The skies above Athens turned orange on Tuesday as clouds of dust from the Sahara blew north, casting an eerie glow over the Greek capital’s landmarks. This unusual event caused remarkable scenes around the Acropolis and in other parts of Athens.

While sandstorms from North Africa affecting Europe are not new, this particular dust cloud was more concentrated than previous instances, making it one of the worst cases in years, according to Kostas Lagouvardos, research director at the National Observatory of Athens.

Although the dust had dissipated by Wednesday, the Greek Health Ministry advised people to avoid outdoor activities and keep their doors and windows shut to prevent health issues.

Scenes from Athens during the Dust Cloud

  • Credit: George Vitsaras/EPA, via Shutterstock

    Gazing at the unusual conditions.

  • Credit: Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

    The view from Lycabettus Hill, the highest point in the city.

  • Credit: George Vitsaras/EPA, via Shutterstock

    Near the Acropolis.

  • Credit: Angelos Tzortzinis/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    Strolling past stalls under the orange haze.

  • Credit: Unknown

    The strange hue bathing the city from the Tourkovounia hills.

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