The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment on Monday advised residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be cautious during the partial solar eclipse that will occur Monday afternoon.

Persons are being asked not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse as this may cause damage to the retina.

Experts say viewing the sun with the naked eye during the eclipse can cause a condition known as “eclipse blindness,” which can cause temporary or permanent vision impairment, and in worst-case scenarios can lead to legal blindness, which entails significant loss of vision.

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the eclipse is expected to last for approximately 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It is expected to begin about 2:31 p.m. and end at 4:55 p.m.

The maximum coverage area of the sun by the moon would be around 70 per cent. This will occur at 3:48 p.m. and this is expected to last for just over 2 minutes.

A solar eclipse occurs when the new moon comes between the sun and Earth, and the moon fully or partially blocks the sun.