A thick blanket of fog and smog lay over the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Thursday, making for an eerie atmosphere on the city's streets amid alerts of high pollution levels, as reported by an epa photographer.

According to the European Environment Agency's air quality index, pollution levels in Skopje have shot up in recent days, prompting alerts for "very poor," the highest possible warning issued by the organization.

Current levels of micro-particles measuring less than 10 micrometers across sat at 338.6 micrograms per cubic meter of air which, combined with dense early morning fog, almost entirely obscured the view of Macedonia's capital from the outlying mountains, as evidenced by epa images.

In one of the photographer's images taken from the surrounding valley, only a plume of factory emissions rose above the thick cap of white that shrouded the urban area.

In another shot, the red glow of a traffic light is diffused by the moisture in the air as a cyclist waits to cross the road.

Skopje regularly ranks as one of the most polluted cities in Europe.