Thick sandstorms engulf Beijing as northern China suffers from severe air pollution

The capital city of Beijing and several provinces in China will be hit by strong, dense sandstorms that will severely impact visibility, China’s meteorological authorities said on Wednesday.

The Central Meteorological Observatory issued yellow warning signals from Wednesday to early Thursday morning for the provinces of Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui and Hubei.

Visibility will be poor in many areas, warning drivers to avoid speeding, according to forecasters. Forecasters added that sandstorms will gradually move south and then weaken.

A dust and sand storm caused a sharp increase in air quality indicators in the Chinese capital on Wednesday morning.
Dust filled the air around Beijing’s central business district as visibility was poor in the Chinese capital.Mark Schifelbein / AP

China has a four-level, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.

Beijing, which also received a yellow sandstorm warning, has experienced sand and dust storms over the past few days, causing pollution levels to skyrocket.

Social media photos show people cycling through the city amid swirling dust, and one shows a bike seat covered in sand.

On Wednesday, Beijing recorded an air quality index of 500, raising the pollution level to 6, which is considered very hazardous to human health, according to the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center.

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