British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021

Brace for second surge of Saharan dust, DDM warns! Some residents report allergic reactions

After experiencing a continuous plume of Saharan dust - which resulted in a few reports of respiratory and allergic reactions - residents are being told to brace for another surge from the African desert.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) said in an advisory on Thursday that forecasters have indicated the “second surge” in Saharan dust is likely to start affecting the Eastern Caribbean some time today.

“These conditions may affect the Virgin Islands beginning Friday into the weekend ” the DDM stated.

First plume affect some residents

While some residents said they were unaffected, others responded to BVI News inquiries via Facebook that the first plume of dust - which began affecting the territory last weekend - has negatively impacted their health.

“[I] ended up on oxygen and nebulization from it,” Susanna Ophelia said.

“I just had to nebulize a few times well. Thank God I have my machine at home,” said Nadia Fahie while replying under the same social media thread.

Another resident wrote: “It’s terrible! Itchy eyes and my lungs feel like raisins.”

Other social media users all told BVI News the dust caused them to develop a sore throat, itchy eyes, and even headaches.

The DDM is advising persons with any allergies or underlying respiratory ailments to exercise caution during this time and limit their outdoor activity.


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