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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Brazil creates sandstorm in beach to disperse crowds

In 1987, India reached the finals of Davis Cup but lost to a superior team at their home.  It was a time when Sweden was dominating with players like Stefan Edberg, Mat Wilander,  Joakim Nystrom, Andres Jarryd – alongside was a player by name Henrik  Sundström (I used to read him wrongly as Sand storm) nicknamed Henke, Sundström was at his best on clay and achieved his strongest results on this surface, with his solid and heavy topspin groundstrokes from the baseline. He reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 6.n   In 1984, Sundström contributed  for the victorious Swedish Davis Cup team – that all  of these matches were on clay was in his favour.   His  opponents included the reigning French Open champion Ivan Lendl who was still playing for Czechoslovakia at the time. Sundström turned around a 2-sets-to-love and 0–3 (0–40) deficit in the third set, and won the match in 5, which gave the Swedes the edge and they made the final against the United States. The US team included John McEnroe who had lost only 2 matches for the season, Jimmy Connors, and Peter Fleming, John McEnroe's long-term doubles partner. 
Team India 1987 (S Vasudevan Anand Amirtaraj Ramesh Krishnan; Vijay Amirtaraj not in pic)

In geology, saltation (from Latin saltus, "leap") is a specific type of particle transport by fluids such as wind or water. It occurs when loose materials are removed from a bed and carried by the fluid, before being transported back to the surface.  As the force of wind passing over loosely held particles increases, particles of sand first start to vibrate, then to move across the surface in a process called saltation.

Sandstorm also called a dust storm -   is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Fine particles are transported by saltation and suspension.  The term sandstorm is used most often in the context of desert dust storms, especially in the Sahara Desert, or places where sand is a more prevalent soil type than dirt or rock, when, in addition to fine particles obscuring visibility, a considerable amount of larger sand particles are blown closer to the surface.

Such sand storms can carry large amounts of dust, with the leading edge being composed of a wall of thick dust as much as 1.6 km (0.99 mi) high. Dust and sand storms which come off the Sahara Desert and an area covering the confluence of Mauritania, Mali, and Algeria.  Saharan dust storms have increased approximately 10-fold during the half-century since the 1950s, causing topsoil loss in Niger, Chad, northern Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. Downunder, Sydney was shrouded in dust during the 2009 Australian dust storm. Dust storms have also been shown to increase the spread of disease across the globe.  Virus spores in the ground are blown into the atmosphere by the storms with the minute particles and interact with urban air pollution.

Dust storms cause soil loss from the dry lands, and worse, they preferentially remove organic matter and the nutrient-rich lightest particles, thereby reducing agricultural productivity. Also, the abrasive effect of the storm damages young crop plants. Dust storms also reduced visibility affecting aircraft and road transportation. In addition dust storms also create problems due to complications of breathing in dust.

Dust storms are not limited to Earth and have been known to form on other planets such as Mars.  .. .. as we read along the natural phenomenon – in Brazil, it was created artificially .. yes – A  police helicopter in Brazil created a sandstorm on a beach in an attempt to remove sunbathers flouting coronavirus restrictions, footage has shown. The incident took place on Friday on Galheta beach in the city of Florianopolis, Santa Catarina.  Although Brazil is not under a national lockdown, the state of Santa Catarina has been under emergency measures since 17 March.

Now, many of Brazil’s 850,000 indigenous population are worried about the spread of the disease and have called for miners, missionaries and other outsiders to leave the Amazon rainforest.  Health experts worry that the illness could spread even quicker among tribes, as they often have weak immune systems !!  caused by malnutrition and diseases such as hepatitis B. In 2016, hundreds of indigenous people in Brazil were killed by the H1N1 epidemic.  Brazil has so far recorded 46 deaths from the disease, with the total number of infections standing at 2,247.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Sandstorm pic credit :

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