Calima makes Spain the most polluted country in the world today

Threat of mud rain return looms over Spain

Threat of mud rain return looms over Spain. Image: Twitter@zariueyita

Spain is the most polluted country in the world thanks to the calima

Storm Celia has created an “invasion of Saharan air loaded with suspended dust” across the country. According to Meteored, today, Tuesday, March 15, this phenomenon has made Spain “the most polluted country in the world”.

An haze has covered Malaga’s streets, cars, roofs, and everything in its path, with reddish dust, which turns rain into mud. It has not only submerged Spain into a typical desert landscape but also implies risks for health, especially for those who suffer from respiratory conditions.

The dust cloud contains non-aqueous, opaque particles that stain the sky orange. This situation results in a high concentration of PM10 particles (particles dispersed in the atmosphere with a diameter of less than 10 µm).

A problem occurs when this level exceeds  40 µg/m³, at which point the amount of dust in suspension begins to worsen the quality of the air and, therefore, can be harmful to health.

To understand the magnitude of the matter, it is convenient to know that the daily average that the WHO considers healthy is 45 µg/m3. However, the data this Tuesday are higher than those observed in countries such as China or India, where haze is a frequent phenomenon.

It can have serious consequences for your health, often irritating the respiratory tract and mucous membranes, causing nasal obstruction, coughing and itchy eyes, as well as difficulty in breathing.

In the most serious cases, breathing dust particles can lodge in the trachea or bronchi, something that those who have, for example, asthma, have to be especially careful with.

This intense haze can also have effects on the circulatory system, sometimes worsening the symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, and producing episodes of arrhythmias.

Carmen Diego, the general secretary of the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) explained to Europa Press, “The haze brings with it particulate matter, the famous PM, which are pollutants. Apart from the fact that they can also carry pollen or fungi from North Africa”.

Adding, “It mainly affects patients with chronic respiratory diseases, and people who may be at the extremes of life, such as children and the elderly”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at