Unprecedented conditions of heavy dust is covering the sky in Cyprus, creating a fog and an asphyxiating atmosphere.
On the one hand is the heat wave, with the temperature reaching the 41 degrees, the humidity and on the other is the heavy dust, which started covering the island from yesterday afternoon.
According to the Labour Inspection Department the dust levels were recorded 66 times greater than normal in the atmosphere late yesterday afternoon.
Nearly ten cases of dyspnoea have been reported yesterday until late hours with doctors giving first aid in Nicosia, mainly to people from vulnerable age groups.
The phenomenon is expected to continue until Thursday and the Labour Inspection Department urges people to limit their movements in open spaces to the absolutely necessary.
Special attention must be given to children and vulnerable age groups, doctors recommend.
According to the Cyprus’ meteorological service the dust came from Syria and that it will last until the end of the week.
Pulmonologist, Andreas Zachariades, told SigmaLive that dust storms can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis in people will a predisposition to asthma.
It may also lead to respiratory problems that could derail a treatment that these people are receiving the doctor added.
In such cases, Zachariades, said that it is necessary for people to immediately inform their doctors.
He added that vulnerable people should avoid outdoor activity.
If it is necessary to go out people should take the necessary protection by wearing a mask or at least carrying a a wet towel to wipe away dust, Zachariades said.
There is an added danger to smokers he said, adding that they should lessen their smoking, since they expose themselves to smoke and the dust.
Airports monitor the dust storm
The two airports in Cyprus, Larnaca and Paphos are closely monitoring the dust storm spokesperson Adamos Aspris said, adding that no flights have been affected yet.
Zachariades finished saying that the storm is being strongly witnessed in Larnaca, while in Paphos there are no indications.