Calima from Forest Fires Blankets Venezuelan Cities

High concentrations of calima, caused by forest fires, are affecting eastern and northern Venezuela, reducing visibility and air quality. Authorities detect 251 hotspots, with cities struggling to cope with the effects, raising concerns about health risks and daily life disruptions.

Nimrah Khatoon
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Calima from Forest Fires Blankets Venezuelan Cities

Calima from Forest Fires Blankets Venezuelan Cities

High concentrations of calima, a phenomenon caused by the suspension of small, dry particles in the air, are currently affecting large parts of Venezuela, particularly in the eastern and northern regions of the country. On May 3, 2024, meteorologist Luis Vargas reported that the calima is primarily the result of ongoing forest fires in various states, rather than Saharan particles.

Why this matters: The persistence of calima resulting from forest fires poses significant risks to public health and daily life, highlighting the need for effective fire management andair quality monitoring. If left unchecked, the situation could have long-term consequences for the environment and human well-being in Venezuela and beyond.

Vargas stated,"En Venezuela tenemos leves concentraciones de polvo Sahariano, pero la calima actual que se observa en varios estados está conformada en su mayoría por humo de los incendios forestales que aún ocurren en buena parte de Nororiente, norte de Bolívar, el este de Guárico, sur de Aragua y Miranda. "This translates to: "In Venezuela, we have slight concentrations of Saharan particles, but the current calima observed in several states is mostly made up of smoke from forest fires that are still occurring in much of the Northeast, north of Bolívar, east of Guárico, south of Aragua, and Miranda.""

The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) has detected 251 hotspots in the last 24 hours, mainly in the regions mentioned by Vargas. The calima is causing reduced horizontal visibility and decreased air quality in the affected areas. Objects appear yellowish or reddish as a result of the dispersion of light, while the color of the sky is altered, making dark objects seem blue.

Cities across Venezuela are struggling to cope with the effects of the calima, including Maturín, the capital of Monagas state, and Caracas, La Vega. Forest fires continue to burn, the calima is expected to persist, raising concerns about potential health risks and disruptions to daily life.

The ongoing situation in Venezuela highlights the importance of effective monitoring and management of forest fires to minimize their impact on air quality and public health. Authorities and citizens must remain alert and take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the potential hazards associated with the calima while the country deals with the consequences of this phenomenon.

Key Takeaways

  • Calima affects eastern and northern Venezuela due to forest fires, not Saharan particles.
  • Forest fires cause reduced visibility, poor air quality, and health risks.
  • 251 hotspots detected in 24 hours, mainly in Northeast, Bolívar, Guárico, Aragua, and Miranda.
  • Cities like Maturín and Caracas struggle with calima's effects, including yellowish skies and dark objects appearing blue.
  • Effective fire management and air quality monitoring are crucial to minimize calima's impact.