Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Cloud of sulfur dioxide and 'Sahara dust' is arriving in Panama

Cloud of sulfur dioxide and 'Sahara dust' is arriving in Panama

The professor at the University of Panama and director of the Physics Laboratory, Alfonso Pino, reported that two phenomena will be arriving in Panama on Tuesday afternoon (the sulfur dioxide cloud and the Sahara dust).
In the afternoon of this Tuesday the Sahara dust will arrive and at night the cloud of sulfur dioxide will be reaching the Caribbean coast, said Pino.

Pino explained that taking international standards as a reference, Panama will have lower levels of sulfur dioxide concentrations in points such as the Comarca de Guna Yala, in the province of Colón and the north of Coclé, where today 15 micrograms per cubic meters could be registered, while on the Pacific coast it would be 10 micrograms.

For this Wednesday, April 21, concentrations of 25 micrograms per cubic meter may be registered on the Caribbean coast and in Panama City they would be 10.

For Thursday, April 22, the concentrations will go in the Pacific (Panama City) about 20 micrograms per cubic meters and in the Caribbean 30 "which are still low levels," according to the professor.

Sulfur dioxide cloud affectations

The director of the UP's Atmospheric Physics Laboratory warned that the cloud can cause some effects, such as irritation and inflammation of the nasal passages and conjunctiva, taking into consideration that “sulfur dioxide is highly soluble in water, So when you breathe the water droplets from the clouds, you can form both sulfurous acid and sulfuric acid (acid rain).

This cloud is the product of the gases and volcanic ash after explosions of the La Soufriere volcano that began on April 9 on the island of San Vicente.

La Soufriere volcano, 1,235 meters high, had not erupted since 1979, and its largest eruption occurred more than a century ago, in 1902, when more than a thousand people died.

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