Spain Travel Warning To Tourists Over ‘Blood Rain’

Spain Travel Warning To Tourists Over ‘Blood Rain’

A travel advisory has been issued in Spain due to the occurrence of an atmospheric phenomenon known as Calima, also known as “blood rain.” 

Authorities are urging caution, especially for individuals with respiratory problems, advising them to stay indoors, as the airborne particles associated with Calima could pose health risks, particularly for vulnerable individuals.

Calima is characterised by the suspension of dust particles in the atmosphere, creating an atmospheric haze that affects air quality. This phenomenon is expected to sweep across popular tourist destinations in Spain, including the Balearic Islands like Majorca and Ibiza, as well as the mainland peninsula. The cause of Calima is the influx of Saharan dust, potentially leading to unfavourable air quality in the affected regions.

The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet) has issued a warning about the impending arrival of a “tongue of suspended dust” to the Iberian Peninsula. Similar occurrences in the past have tinted the sky with an orange hue for several days, and some areas in Spain may experience a similar atmospheric phenomenon.

The Saharan dust, which began its journey towards Spain on Thursday morning, is expected to spread across the peninsula in the coming days, potentially coinciding with an anticipated rainstorm. The combination of these elements can result in mud or blood showers, named for the reddish coloration of the particles mixed with water. These showers create an illusion of surfaces being splashed with mud.

While Calima itself is not inherently toxic, the accumulation of airborne particles can have adverse effects on health, especially when inhaling poor-quality air. Individuals with allergies, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or other respiratory conditions may experience dryness in the airways and aggravated symptoms.

Common symptoms of exposure to Calima include itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, upper respiratory tract irritation, asthma, chest discomfort, shortness of breath (dyspnea), pneumonia, and allergic rhinitis.

To mitigate health risks associated with Calima, authorities recommend taking preventive measures. In affected areas, residents are advised to keep doors and windows closed and refrain from going outside, particularly for those with chronic respiratory diseases.

If venturing outdoors is necessary, wearing a mask is recommended to minimise exposure to airborne particles. Vigilance and adherence to these precautions can help reduce the potential health impact of the Calima weather phenomenon.

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