Friday, 30 August 2013

Dust in the caribbean worries scientists

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Friday August 30, 2013 – Clouds of African dust have been sprinkling their contents across the Caribbean for as long as there's been sand in the Sahara Desert. The phenomenon is nevertheless attracting increasing attention from regional scientists who believe that the clouds have grown, even if there's no global consensus on the issue.
Recently, an unusually large cloud dusted the Eastern Caribbean, generating hazy skies and vivid sunsets before drifting over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and moving on to be detected as far away as Wyoming in the United States.
Satellite images from NASA show these huge, smoky clouds wafting westward from Africa and blanketing hundreds of square miles.
Although the microscopic dust particles sent aloft by African sandstorms have hitherto been accorded little more than moderate interest, experts are now saying that the particulate matter may be cause for health concerns and merit more study to understand their potential impact.
According to Braulio Jimenez-Velez, a specialist in molecular and environmental toxicology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, "It is a matter of great magnitude, interest and importance for health."
So far this year, Sahara dust has prompted two health alerts in Puerto Rico for asthma sufferers and people with allergies. The Dominican Republic also issued a warning.
Many Caribbean territories, including Puerto Rico, have high asthma rates, but no direct link has been established between African dust and higher rates of asthma or lung cancer.
Over time, human activity has changed the composition of the clouds, with scientists saying that they now contain trace amounts of metals, microorganisms, bacteria, spores, pesticides and faecal matter, although no evidence exists that the quantities are sufficient to pose a threat.
African dust sampled in Barbados also had elevated levels of arsenic and cadmium, according to Joseph M. Prospero, professor emeritus of marine and atmospheric chemistry at the University of Miami.
"The specific impact on health is not known here or anywhere else. It has been extremely difficult to link specific particle composition to health effects," said Prospero, who is lead author of a paper on the dust to be published in September by the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
"So it cannot be said what effect all this dust has, but there is reason for some concern," the expert added.
Eugenio Mojena of Cuba's Institute of Meteorology said the particles are believed to originate in the semi-arid Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert, where farmers raise livestock and employ chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Experts also worry that chemicals in the clouds may pose a threat to coral, although the theory is still a subject of debate.
The dust clouds can also complicate air traffic by reducing visibility to less than 3 miles, said Jason Dunion, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
On a more positive note, the dust-laden clouds may inhibit the formation of hurricanes and other tropical weather systems in the Caribbean.
According to Prospero, lower rainfall in West Africa presumably causes more dust, which reduces sunlight, lowers water temperatures and cuts evaporation, all factors in cyclonic formation.

Ramon's Village to return to business

Since 1982 Ramon's Village Resort has been on business and has become famous for its natural landscape it presents. Many award was given to the Resort for the past years for it's well service staff. The positive insights of Ramon's Village lead to many tourist attraction. Snorkeling, diving, dining, souviner shop, golf cart rentals, bicycle rentals,and much more were all included in the resort. On August 27,2013 a fire had destroyed Ramon's Village. Hotel management wasted no time on starting to pick up the pieces that were left behind by the fire. Richard Hedrick flew to Belize from the U.S two days later, to meet with the staff to talk ways to start building Ramon's back to it's feet. A press Release on August 28,2013 The owner of Ramon's Village Richard Hedricks spoke to the media saying '' I was relieved that no injuries were reported; however, saddened at the loss. “Our hearts are broken that our beloved Ramon’s has suffered such damage. Over the past twenty-seven years tens of thousands of guests have visited Ramon’s Village and had the time of their lives. However, out of adversity comes steadfastness and you can be assured that very soon the rebuilding of Ramon’s Village Resort will begin. In a short time, the Ramon’s Village that our many guests and friends have come to love and adore will be back hosting guests, and, Lord willing, our little piece of paradise will be better than ever!”

The only rooms and counting were fourty rooms that remain standing and business should start again over the weekend. Manager Einer Gomez told media that the dive shop remains unaffected and business was still ongoing since wednesday. Out of 71 cabanas 29 were burnt down. Explosion was cause by the tanks that was used for the hotel services. The estimation value was estimated about eight million dollars of insurance.

After the fire National Fire Service, went to the resort to do their investigation. This tragic cause of fire led to witnesses speechless.  Mr. Ramon Nunez, always the one who greeted you as you arrive at the reception desk. After a quick registration process, you'll be whisked to your cabana by one of our informative chauffeurs. Ask them anything about the island and they will give you the appropriate answer.