• Cartagena and Lorca hit by cloud of mineral dust
  • Police called into action as alarm raised

Cartagena and Lorca Town Councils placed a maximum air quality alert in place – as a cloud of mineral dust pollution hit Murcia on Thursday.

Police were called into action and households and businesses were alerted of the dangerous situation, as emergency procedures were put in place.

The cloud of mineral dust arrived in Murcia from North Africa, with initially a Level 2 alert announced – increased to Level 3 as the day progressed.

The PM10 particle air readings soared to 130-150 micrograms pcm of air – the threshold is 50 micrograms. In Caravaca the PM10 reached 125.

The Level 2/3 contamination protocols lead to traffic restrictions in Cartagena city, along with other areas in the east of Spain and the Balearics.

“Will all residents please turn heating down in homes and in the workplaces,” said a statement from Cartagena and Lorca town halls.

“Advice is also given to share cars, or use public transport. Also turn engines off at red traffic lights,” said the statement.

Police are active, following the contamination protocols put in place, with access to the city centre in Cartagena under restrictions.