Sand mist: red alert in the West Indies


The haze of sand announced and so dreaded began its crossing of the Lesser Antilles

The quality of our air deteriorated enormously this Sunday with the arrival, this night, of the imposing haze of sand announced for several days, coming from the desert of the Sahara in the north of Africa.

Reduced visibility, feeling of suffocation, itchy eyes and throat or even heat… The imposing haze of sand of a density rarely reached over the Atlantic basin announced for several days began its crossing of the Lesser Antilles last night.

You just have to put your nose outside to notice it. The air quality which had however been slightlyimproved, deteriorated over the hours to reach 10 out of 10 (ATMO index), or even more if the index went beyond 10. Unfortunately, an improvement is not expected until the night of Wednesday at next Thursday with the arrival of a new tropical wave. Until then, fragile and suffering people are asked to protect themselves.

Value reached at 9 a.m. at Pointe-à-Pitre station: 228 micrograms per cubic meter.

La concentration of fine PM10 particles in the air exceeds 80 μg / m3 on average over 24 hours, value corresponding to the alert threshold. After several consecutive days of exceeding the regulatory thresholds and facing this forecast, the alert procedure is triggered in accordance with the prefectural order relating to air quality.

For vulnerable populations: Pregnant women, infants and young children, people over 65, people with cardiovascular disease, heart or respiratory failure, people with asthma.

For sensitive populations: People who recognize themselves as sensitive during pollution peaks and / or whose symptoms appear or are amplified during peaks (for example: people with diabetes, immunocompromised people, people suffering from neurological conditions or at cardiac, respiratory or infectious risk.

In case of respiratory or cardiac discomfort, take advice from a health professional,

Choose shorter trips and those that require the least effort,

Take advice from your doctor to find out if your medical treatment should be adapted if necessary,

Avoid traveling on major highways and their surroundings, during peak periods,

Avoid intense physical and sports activities (including competitions), both outdoors and indoors,

Postpone the activities that require the most effort. For young people (0 to 6 years old), schoolchildren, middle school students and high school students:

Prohibit outdoor sports activities in primary and secondary schools

For young children, ban outdoor and indoor sports activities.

For the general population:

Reduce intense physical and sports activities (including competitions)

In case of respiratory or cardiac discomfort, take advice from a health professional.


Find out about air quality in the region on the Gwad'Air website:,

Additional health recommendations are made available on the website of the regional health agency of Guadeloupe:


Full press release from the authorities in pdf




The mist from the Sahara


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