ORIHUELA COSTA blanketed in Saharan dust as sandstorm covers the coast
Residents of the Costa Blanca woke up on Saturday morning, February 6, to a thick covering of orange-yellow dust over their cars, terraces and roads, as an African weather front brought tonnes of Saharan dust to the region overnight. Up and down the Calles, people could be heard sweeping and hosing down their properties from early morning, but this may be a futile effort, as the phenomenon is set to continue until early Monday morning, February 8.
The Iberian Peninsula is frequently affected by these types of storms, but as well as presenting a nuisance to house-proud folk, who may want to keep their doors and windows closed to stop the dust spreading everywhere, they can also be a health hazard. Experts advise older people and those with respiratory to remain indoors as much as possible to avoid inhaling the particles, and outdoor sports and exertions should also be kept to a minimum.
The UA Climatology Laboratory explained yesterday on its Twitter account that the Saharan dust can cause poor visibility and fog.
Cielo muy turbio y mala visibilidad en la provincia de #Alicante por la importante irrupción de polvo sahariano. Se irá retirando en las próximas horas.
Además, hoy en el interior se han formado algunos bancos de niebla. https://t.co/WL6sf1zm6D
— Climatología UA (@climatologia_ua) February 5, 2021
More severe sandstorms, called “calima,” have been known in Spain to ground flights and cause serious disruption. In February last year, winds of up to 75 miles per hours brought waves of the African sand to the Canary Islands and reduced visibility at Gran Canaria airport to less than 400 metres.
The dust contains particles such as calcite, ferric oxide, quartz and clay minerals and originates from sandstorms in the Sahara which can be transported long distances by the wind.
Those experiencing the current sandstorm can at least be thankful that the State Weather Agency, AEMET, has forecast a dry weekend, so there is little chance of the dust turning into an even more irritating sludge.
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