June 26, 2020 13h21
When the dust of the Sahara darkens the horizon up to… Cuba
HAVANA — A large cloud of dust from the Sahara has cast a shadow on the blue sky of Cuba, a good part of the last week, resulting in a peak of heat and could cause respiratory ailments, while this country was declared under control the outbreak of coronavirus.
According to the Institute of meteorology, a temperature record for this time of year, from 37.4 degrees was recorded in the eastern province of Guantanamo, where is the famous american naval base of the same name. The cloud has covered other islands or parts of islands in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the dominican Republic.
“The areas of dust from the Sahara [were kept] on the cuban capital, but it is Thursday morning as has occurred in the highest concentration,” said on Facebook, meteorologist cuban José Rubiera.
The phenomenon is due to a mass of dry hot air raises temperatures but also blocks the formation of tropical cyclones, resulting in a sensation of high heat and less rain. Created by sand storms and dust of the Sahara, the clouds travel to the Caribbean, pushed by the wind. This is a normal phenomenon for this season, but this year the concentration of dust is “great than normal”, according to Mr. Rubiera.
“Dr. Olga Mayol university of Puerto Rico, an island heavily affected by the cloud of dust, estimated that this year, the intensity is the strongest in the past 50 or 60 years,” he said. This “leads to a significant deterioration of air quality”, stressed the scientific cuban Eugenio Mojena, indicating that this cloud is in charge of materials highly harmful to human health” and “the marine and terrestrial ecosystems”.
It contains “minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorus, silicon and mercury, as well as viruses, bacteria, fungi, mites, pathogenic staphylococci and organic contaminants”, he added.
Dr. Francisco Duran, the head of the department Epidemiology of the ministry of Health has warned that the cloud could “increase of respiratory diseases, and allergic”, at a time when the island comes to declare the pandemic of sars coronavirus under control, with only one new case reported Wednesday, for a total of 2318 cases, including 85 deaths.