Skies over Athens turn 'apocalyptic' orange from Sahara dust storm - while Libya has red haze

Skies over Athens have turned an orange hue as clouds of dust have blown across the Mediterranean Sea from the Sahara desert.

Strong southerly winds carried the dust clouds from North Africa and engulfed the Acropolis and other landmarks in Greece's capital on Tuesday.

People posted footage of the orange haze on X, formerly Twitter, saying they had witnessed the "weirdest sky".

One person in Athens posted footage of their windshield covered in sand.

Another branded the scene as "apocalyptic" as they posted footage of their surroundings on the social media platform.

The skies in eastern Libya, meanwhile, turned deep red, looking more like the surface of Mars than Earth.

The skies are predicted to clear on Wednesday as winds shift and move the dust, with temperatures dipping.

On Tuesday, the daily high in parts of the southern island of Crete topped 30C, more than 20C higher than what was registered in much of northern Greece.

The strong southerly winds over the past few days have also fanned unseasonal early wildfires in the country's south.

The fire service said on Tuesday evening that a total of 25 wildfires had broken out across the country in 24 hours.

Three people were arrested on the Aegean Sea resort island of Paros on suspicion of accidentally starting a scrub blaze on Monday, it added.

No significant damage or injuries were reported, and the fire was quickly contained.

Another blaze that broke out on Crete near a naval base was brought under control.

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Greece suffers devastating, and often deadly, forest blazes every summer, and last year the country recorded the European Union's largest wildfire in more than two decades.

Persistent drought combined with high spring temperatures has raised fears of a particularly challenging period for firefighters in the coming months