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Spaniards Told to Stay Indoors as Red Saharan Dust Fills Air

A line of parked vehicles covered with red Saharan dust in Madrid, on March 15.

A line of parked vehicles covered with red Saharan dust in Madrid, on March 15.

Photographer: Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images

Cars, buildings and streets across Spain were covered in red Saharan dust on Tuesday, as desert sand was blown across the Mediterranean sea.

The weather phenomena usually only carries sand to parts of the southern coast of Spain, making Tuesday’s occurrence a rare event. The dusty wind is expected to remain in the Iberian Peninsula until Thursday and the Spanish government has declared the quality of the air as extremely unfavorable in some parts of the country. The authorities are advising against outdoor activities and asking people to keep windows shut.