Chinese capital Beijing witnesses hazardous sandstorm for second time in 2 weeks
Air quality index in the city touched 500 on Sunday morning - the maximum level. Dangerous floating particles known as PM10 with over 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre were recorded in many districts
The Chinese capital of Beijing is currently shrouded in thick dust carrying hazardous particles after a sandstorm hit the city again. This marks the second such sandstorm in two weeks, and is a result of winds coming in from Mongolia and northwestern China which are experiencing a drought.
The city’s visibility remained reduced, with not many structures and buildings visible in the morning. As dusty winds swept the city streets, pedestrians were forced to cover their eyes. Air quality index in the city touched 500 on Sunday morning - the maximum level. Dangerous floating particles known as PM10 with over 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre were recorded in many districts.
Readings of smaller particles with PM 2.5 stood at 300 micrograms per cubic metre, way higher than the 35 micrograms common in China. PM2.5 particles are extremely harmful for they enter the bloodstream and are extremely small. PM10 particles are larger and can enter the lungs.
On Friday, the China Meteorological Administration issued a yellow alert, warning that a sandstorm could wreak havoc in the city. The sandstorm spread from Mongolia to northern Chinese provinces like Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Liaoning and Hebei, which is near Beijing.
According to the meteorological office, the sandstorms originated from Mongolia. Warmer temperatures and reduced rain reportedly resulted in larger areas with bare earth, which is conducive for sandstorms.
The office added that the city might experience more sandstorms in April this year due to unfavourable weather.