Locals and visitors to the island of Crete woke up to a surreal scene on Sunday morning. The island has been covered with clouds of dust, which made its way from the Sahara Desert in Africa.

The National Meteorology Service says the upcoming dust clouds are harmful given the high concentration of inhalable pollution particles, which are above Particulate Matter 10, and is expected to exceed the average daily of 50 mg/m3. This is already the case in Chania, where particle concentration has reached 370 mg/m3.

The dust has resulted in a suffocating atmosphere, one which locals are unaccustomed to.

A warning regarding pollution has been issued by Greek health authorities, namely for children and the elderly who may be suffering from respiratory and heart issues, with advice to limit outdoor activity.

Meteorologists say they predict matters to improve from Wednesday onwards.

Heraklion locals awoke on Sunday to the dust.
Chania covered in dust.