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China. The sandstorm enveloped the city in a thick layer of pollution

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Dust storms hit many parts of China on Wednesday, forcing the country’s weather service to issue alerts. The sand and dust took their toll on the residents of Beijing, where visibility was limited and air quality seriously deteriorated.

The series sweeps across northern China on Wednesday thunderstorms sand. Due to the difficult weather conditions, the Central Meteorological Observatory issued a weather alert valid from Wednesday to Thursday morning. Forecasters warned of poor visibility and difficult road conditions. They added that the dust storms will gradually move south and then weaken.

The worst air in the world

Dense sandstorms also hit Beijing. Residents of the Chinese capital said that the subway smelled of dust and sand settled on their clothes.

– When I went outside today, I saw that the sky was covered with pollution and coarse dust. It looks very serious,” one resident told Reuters.

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Sandstorm over BeijingReuters

Beijing recorded a drastic increase in pollution levels on Wednesday. According to the IQAir portal, on Wednesday at 2 p.m. local time (it was 7 a.m. in Poland at that time), the city’s air pollution index was 1010 and was the highest in the world. By comparison, India’s second most polluted city, Delhi, had an average of 183.

The average concentration of PM10 in Beijing was 1113.5 micrograms per cubic meter, and PM2.5 – 184 µg/m³. Poor air quality was also recorded by the Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center, which reported that the concentration of pollutants exceeded the scale of monitoring indicators.

Sandstorm over BeijingReuters

Desert and deforestation

Northern China experiences regular sandstorms from March to April. The dust is blown from the Gobi Desert in the north of the country, and the phenomenon is intensifying as deforestation continues.

China has a four-level warning system for hazardous weather conditions. A red alert is the most severe alert, and the levels are colored orange, yellow, and blue, respectively. The sandstorm alert was level two, yellow.

Sandstorm over BeijingReuters

Main photo source: Reuters



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