Sandstorm engulfs Beijing for the second time in two weeks - GulfToday

Sandstorm engulfs Beijing for the second time in two weeks

Beijing sandstorm 1

Motorists commute during a Sandstorm in Beijing. AFP

Gulf Today Report 

The Chinese capital, Beijing was covered in thick dust with extreme hazardous particles on Sunday.

This is the second sandstorm in two weeks in the city due to winds from drought-hit Mongolia and northwestern China.

Pedestrians had to cover their eyes as dust swept through the streets, tops of some skyscrapers were covered and vision all around the city reduced. 

Beijing sandstorm

People pose for a picture before the China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters during the sandstorm. AFP

Beijing's official air quality index reached a maximum level of 500 on Sunday morning, with floating particles known as PM10 surpassing 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre in some districts. 

Readings of smaller PM2.5 particles were above 300 micrograms per cubic metre, far higher than China's standard of 35 micrograms. 

Beijing sandstorm 2

A Boeing 737-800 airplane on the tarmac which is shrouded in dust. Reuters 

PM2.5 particles are especially harmful because they are very tiny and can enter the bloodstream, while PM10 is a larger particle that can enter the lungs.

The China Meteorological Administration issued a yellow alert on Friday, warning that a sandstorm was spreading from Mongolia into northern Chinese provinces including Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Liaoning and Hebei, which surrounds Beijing

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