* Volcanic gales. l. 294. The pestilential winds of the east are described by various authors under various denominations; as harmattan, samiel, samium, syrocca, kamsin, seravansum. M. de Beauchamp describes a remarkable south wind in the deserts about Bagdad, called seravansum, or poison-wind; it burns the face, impedes respiration, strips the trees of their leaves, and is said to pass on in a streight line, and often kills, people in six hours. P. Cotte sur la Meteorol. Analytical Review for February, 1790. M. Volney says, the hot wind or ramsin seems to blow at the season when the sands of the deserts are the hottest; the air is then filled with an extreamly subtle dust. Vol. I. p. 61. These winds blow in all directions from the deserts; in Egypt the most violent proceed from the S. S. W. at Mecca from the E. at Surat from the N. at Bassora from the N. W. at Bagdad from the W. and in Syria from the S. E.
On the south of Syria, he adds, where the Jordan flows is a country of volcanos; and it is observed that the earthquakes in Syria happen after their rainy season, which is also conformable to a similar observation made by Dr. Shaw in Barbary. Travels in Egypt, Vol. I. p. 303.
These winds seem all to be of volcanic origin, as before mentioned, with this dif∣ference, that the Simoom is attended with a stream of electric matter; they seem to be in consequence of earthquakes caused by the monsoon floods, which fall on volcanic fires in Syria, at the same time that they inundate the Nile.
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