The Government of the Canary Islands has activated a pre-alert for calima (haze) across the entire archipelago starting at 06:00 today. This decision follows guidance from the State Meteorological Agency and other sources, and aligns with the Specific Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands for Adverse Meteorological Phenomenon Risks (PEFMA).
The calima, varying in concentration and potentially exceeding 50 micrograms per cubic meter, is expected to primarily impact coastal and inland areas. This could pose health risks to individuals with chronic or respiratory conditions.
The dust, while generally widespread, may manifest more acutely in certain locales, particularly in southern regions. It is anticipated to advance in pulses, becoming increasingly apparent throughout the afternoon. Accompanying this Saharan dust event will be elevated temperatures, dry conditions, calima, and southeast winds, occasionally reaching severe gusts.
Calima in the Canary Islands: Measures for the vulnerable
In light of these conditions, the Government urges those particularly vulnerable to take stringent precautions and adhere to established self-protection measures for such events.
Key advice includes keeping doors and windows shut to minimize exposure and, for those with chronic respiratory ailments, to stay indoors as much as feasible. The importance of hydration, maintaining a moist environment, and having access to necessary medications cannot be overstated.
Additionally, it is recommended to limit strenuous physical activity during this period. Drivers are also advised to reduce their speed due to potential visibility issues on roads, to prevent accidents.