TOURISTS and locals in Almeria woke to a surreal scene on Tuesday morning with the coastal city covered in a plume of orange dust.

Images taken today show the city in a yellowish hue after strong winds transferred the dust from Europe’s only desert about 30 kilometers south towards the provincial capital Almeria. 

The Tabernas Desert, located in the Tabernas municipality in Andalusia, is one of Spain’s semi-arid deserts and a mass of dusty and very dry air forms over desert from early spring into late autumn. 

The veil of dust means Almeria is currently surrounded by hazy orange skies, making the location look like somewhere from another world.

The city and nearby towns are covered in thick plumes of dust which has delayed transport and forced asthmatics to stay inside.

Forecasters have warned motorists to take extra care on the road as the smoke is expected to last well into Friday morning.

The mayor of Almeria Ramon Fernandez-Pacheco has urged residents to adopt ‘self-protection’ measures, adding that locals should ‘follow the recommendations’ given by Civil Protection.

Fernandez-Pacheco took to Twitter to warn people of the high levels of dust and suspended particles that have ‘stained the city orange’. 

He advised that locals should leave their homes ’as little as possible’ and travel ‘only if necessary’. 

“Reduce you speed when driving through the dust and be careful as visibility is extremely poor.’ 

The mayor also urged locals to wear a mask to ‘help reduce the irritation caused by the haze’. 

The Civil Protection added that it is necessary ‘to avoid doing sports, exercise and physical activities  that take place outside’ and warned residents to keep exterior doors and windows of the home closed. 

They also advise that vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems should take care to stay hydrated since the dust ‘dries out’ the lungs. 

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