May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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The Greek sky turns orange over Athens as dust from the North African Sahara blows

The Greek sky turns orange over Athens as dust from the North African Sahara blows

The sky over southern Greece turned orange on Tuesday, as clouds of dust blew across the Mediterranean from North Africa, sweeping across the Acropolis and other landmarks in Athens.

Strong southern winds carried dust from the Sahara Desert, giving the atmosphere of the Greek capital a Mars-like filter in the last hours of the day.

The sky is expected to be clear on Wednesday, with winds moving and raising dust, with temperatures dropping. On Tuesday, the daily high in parts of southern Crete exceeded 86 degrees Fahrenheit, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit higher than what was recorded in much of northern Greece.

Strong southern winds over the past few days have also ignited unseasonal early forest fires in the south of the country.

A total of 25 forest fires broke out across the country in the past 24 hours, the fire service said on Tuesday evening.

Athens appears shrouded in orange cloud as southerly winds carry waves of Saharan dust into the city on Tuesday.Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP – Getty Images

She added that three people were arrested in the Aegean resort of Paros on suspicion of accidentally starting a fire on Monday. No major damage or injuries were reported, and the fire was quickly contained.

Another fire that broke out on the island of Crete near a naval base was brought under control on Tuesday.

Greece suffers from devastating and often deadly forest fires every summer, and last year the country recorded the largest forest fire in the European Union in more than two decades.

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Dust from the Sahara covers Athens in fog on Wednesday. Nicholas Kokovelis/NoorPhoto via Getty Images
Orange fog over Athens Tuesday.Milos Pecanski/Getty Images

The ongoing drought and rising temperatures in the spring have raised fears of a particularly difficult period for firefighters in the coming months.