A massive dust cloud from the Sahara Desert, which will reach Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula next week, will be a health hazard, especially for people suffering from chronic heart and respiratory diseases.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that breathable particles from the cloud will range in size from 2.5 to 10 microns, and can enter through the nose and mouth and lodge in the trachea and bronchi.
The dust cloud is currently moving through the tropical Atlantic and was expected to hit land in Mexico Friday, June 26, before moving up the coast and through the Gulf of Mexico.
Although dust clouds blowing across the Atlantic are a regular phenomenon, satellite images show the size of this cloud to be especially large. Several Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, have reported higher than average hazy conditions and limited visibility. Air quality has fallen significantly and people across the region have been advised to stay indoors.