To Poison), Or Samiel Simoom (Arabic From Samma (Turkish, sam, poison, and yel, wind), a hot, dry wind common in Syria, Arabia, and India. It comes from the deserts, and is characterized by its excessive heat and suffocating effects, which are sometimes fatal to animal life. It never lasts over an hour, though it sometimes returns for several successive days. During its prevalence the inhabitants of towns and villages shut themselves up in their houses, and those in the deserts in their tents or in pits. The parching heat is derived from the sands, which are whirled up from the earth by the advancing wind, and the whole air is filled with an extremely subtle and penetrating dust. When the wind blows in squalls, death is often very suddenly produced by actual suffocation, and is followed by haemorrhage at the nose and mouth. Persons exposed to it protect themselves by stopping the mouth and nose with handkerchiefs, and the camels instinctively bury their noses in the sand. The khamsin of Egypt and the har-mattan of Guinea and Senegambia are winds similar to the simoom in their effects, but are of longer duration and more regular in the periods of their prevalence. In India the simoom of the deserts of Cutchee and Upper Sinde is sudden and mysterious in its appearance, invisible and singularly fatal.
It usually occurs in June and July, by night as well as by day, sometimes preceded by a cold current of air. Its course is straight and well defined on a narrow path. It is not accompanied by dust, thunder, or lightning, but has a decided sulphurous odor.