A gigantic column of dust from the Sahara desert, which is advancing on the Caribbean, arrives this Tuesday in Mexico. It is also expected to affect the southeastern United States.
Although this phenomenon usually occurs every summer, this time it has generated more concern, as specialists maintain that the dust cloud seems to be quite extreme to that registered in recent years.
What Did the Mexican Government Say?
Through a statement on its website, the government of Mexico stated that: “This is normal and does not represent a danger to the population.”
“Dust and sand storms are common meteorological phenomena in arid and semi-arid regions. The main sources of these mineral powders are the arid regions of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia and China,” he explained.
“The amount of dust from the Sahara that enters our country depends on the intensity of the wind and its concentration on Africa,” he added.
Along the same lines, he explained that: “The eastern and southeastern slopes of the country are where the dust commonly enters directly. The Sierra Madre Oriental is a natural barrier so that it does not cross the center of the territory, which is why only small concentrations achieve The dust of the Sahara does not represent a danger for the population in Mexico, its effect is more direct in the amount of cloudiness and rainfall One of the main characteristics or indications of African dust is that the day turns grayish, the reddish evenings and there is little cloudiness. ”
The GOES satellite of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) captured a series of animated images last Friday, June 19, when dust entered the deep tropical Atlantic from Africa.
According to experts, the dust is so thick that the Barbados Meteorological Services issued a “Severe Dust Fog Warning” urging residents to take the necessary measures, due to poor visibility and possible respiratory problems it could cause.
For its part, on Sunday June 21 the Puerto Rico Health Department said in a statement that between that day and Thursday an “immense cloud of dust from the Sahara will cover the entire island” and asked people with respiratory diseases to take precautions.
In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, on the north coast of the country, the skies could also be seen this Sunday with a yellowish hue, a product of the column.