As if the global pandemic wasn’t enough, Beijing was just hit by the biggest sandstorm of the past decade. Sandstorms are nothing new in this part of Asia and occur regularly in China and Mongolia in March and April. Maybe building cities next to a desert and chopping down all the trees in the area was not the best idea.
Chinese authorities are trying to plant more trees every year to limit the amount of sand that gets swept into Beijing and other cities, but it’s still not enough. Right before the storm blew through the capital and surrounding areas, the air quality has dropped down to the “smog” level, which could potentially be connected to the sandy apocalypse.
According to CGTN (China Global Television Network), meteorologists have declared a yellow level of threat. It is reported that the sandstorm came from Mongolia and pretty much turned Beijing into a Martian colony. Visibility in the capital was less than 1000 meters, which caused traffic jams in the city. According to the Global Times, more than 400 flights were canceled due to the sandstorm.
Six people were found dead in Mongolia, and the Chinese authorities received reports of 548 missing persons from nine provinces. Eighty-one of them have not yet been found.
According to the reported data, the city’s level of pollution has increased to level 6. The concentration of fine particulate matter in some areas exceeded the WHO’s recommended norm by 160 times. People are asked to close doors and windows, go outside wearing masks and scarves, and stay as far away as possible from construction sites, billboards, trees, and other places where they can get hit by falling debris. Because as we all know, sand is coarse, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
The situation is serious, but people still needed to go to work, and so we thank them for posting all these surreal photos and videos of the beautiful-but-deadly natural disaster on their social media.