A trail of dust from the Sahara has reached the Caribbean side of Mexico, darkening the sky of Cancun, Riviera Maya and the rest of the Yucatan Peninsula
The gigantic dust cloud that originated in the Sahara desert, on the African continent, reached the Caribbean, and this Tuesday, June 23 it arrive in Mexico, so the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) called for the population to be vigilant, especially those suffering from respiratory diseases.
Cenapred established that “this dust has a direct effect on the amount of cloudiness and rainfall”, remembering that we are in hurricane season. In addition, he assures that “only small concentrations manage to reach the center of the country because the Sierra Madre Oriental serves as a natural barrier.”
At the same time, powerful sandstorms accompanied by high winds swept across the country, hitting the states of Durango and Coahuila.
A few days ago, Caribbean islands were engulfed by an unprecedented Sahara dust cloud, with air quality and visibility declining sharply.
Now the sand apocalypse has reached coastal Mexico, with paradisiac beaches in Cancun and on Isla Mujeres turning dusty grey to brown.
In the coming days, dust from northern Africa will move from eastern Mexico to the United States, where it will pollute the air from Texas to Florida, and up to Washington (DC).
Meanwhile, major sandstorms swept across the cities of Gomez-Palacio and Lardo, Durango and Torreon, Coahuila, changing day into night.
Although no serious incident have been reported yet, eyewitnesses share amazing videos and pictures on social networks:
Countries where the Sahara dust cloud has reached
Trinidad and Tobago
Antigua and Bermuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The coordinator of Prevention and Health Care, Flor Irene Rodríguez, explained that the dust of the Sahara contains a mass of hot air with little humidity, in addition to biological and chemical materials, as well as spores and mites that can be harmful especially for the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
Therefore, for the general population, he made the following recommendations, which also protect against Covid-19:
- Avoid exposing yourself to high concentrations of this dust.
- Stay at home.
- In case of going out, use a mask or a mask.
- If there are discomforts in the eyes, it is necessary to rinse them with abundant clean or boiled water, without forgetting to carry out a correct previous and subsequent hand washing, in order to prevent further affectation.
- It is essential to wear glasses outdoors and stay hydrated, to avoid dryness of the throat and mucosa of the respiratory system.
- Cover water storage sources, such as wells, buckets or drums, so that it does not adhere to or preserve any type of virus or bacteria.
In case of doubts about preventive measures against respiratory infections or Covid-19, the IMSS made available to the population the toll-free 800 2222 668, Medical Telephone Guidance, and Covid-19.
Source: mediotiempo.com, excelsior.com.mx, strangesounds.org