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Satellite picture of Sahara dust cloud over the UK

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, April 5, 2014, 11:24 AM -

Taking a look at that thick red cloud in the satellite picture above, it's easy to see why people in the UK were struggling to catch a breath this past week.

That's a UK Met Office graphic showing the path of the Sahara dust cloud that sparked major air quality warnings across the country, reportedly leaving a fine coat of the stuff on cars as far north as Scotland.

The cloud's worst effects were in the south of England, including London, one of the largest cities in Europe, with "very high" pollution warnings on April 2 and 3.

The cloud, combined with the kind of pollution one normally finds above a huge metropolis, made for a semi-toxic soup that prompted authorities to warn schools to keep students indoors and caution people not to do any strenuous activity outside.

Even UK Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to cancel his morning job, and his limo was also reportedly not spared the dust coating found on other cars in the region.

UK media report more than a million people with asthma are believed to have suffered an attack as a result of the conditions, and emergency services saw a spike in calls for assistance.

RELATED: Free public transit in Paris as authorities try to curb air pollution.

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