Millions of people affected: Heavy sandstorm over northern China


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Status: 04/11/2023 12:19 p.m

A severe sandstorm swept across several regions in northern China – affecting more than 400 million people. In Beijing, air pollution rose to record levels – visibility is said to have been only a few dozen meters.

A heavy sandstorm has swept across the Chinese capital Beijing and other regions in northern China. Around 409 million people were affected, the Ministry of Forestry reported, according to information from the newspaper “Global Times”. The index for air pollution in Beijing rose well above the upper scale limit to 1300 on Monday evening, while values ​​of 150 are already considered “unhealthy”. Visibility dropped to a few tens of meters.

Dusty and bad air: Visibility in Beijing is said to have been only a few dozen meters due to the sandstorm.

Image: EPA

The sandstorm came from southern Mongolia and, in addition to the 23-million-strong metropolis, also hit other northern regions such as Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Xinjiang, the ministry said. An area of ​​2.29 million square kilometers was affected – 16 times the size of Germany.

The weather center reported that northern China has already experienced more sandstorms this year than the average for the past decade. With extremely high concentrations of fine dust, the air index in Beijing was still around 900 in the morning, while a dust bell hung over the capital. Only during the course of the day did it slowly clear up again with stronger winds.

Sandstorms are common in springtime in northern China, with sand often coming from the Gobi desert.

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