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Cloud of African dust hits Tyrol for second time

A thick cloud of dust from the Saharan desert has engulfed Tyrol for the second time this year.

The dust cloud that appeared this week in the region is almost as polluted as the earlier cloud that appeared on New Year's Eve.

On that night the pollution had been measured at around 250 microgams per cubic metre and this Thursday when measurements were taken it was clocked at around 200 micrograms.

Saharan dust clouds are a natural phenomenon whereby dust from the desert are lifted high into the air by strong winds and swept thousands of miles away into Europe.

Similar clouds have appeared elsewhere in Europe recently, including the UK where a thick yellow dust covered famous monuments in London and led to schools to keep children indoors.

Meteorologists in Austria say that forecasting a dust cloud is challenging and they were surprised about the density of the phenomenon this week. Although the Sahara dust was announced, with this intensity had not been expected, said Manfred Bauer, head of the Central Institute for Meteorology (ZAMG) in Innsbruck.

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