Massive sandstorm blankets Hotan, western China

Massive sandstorm blankets Hotan, western China

A massive sandstorm blanketed the city of Hotan in western China on Sunday, June 28, 2020. According to the South China Morning Post, the visibility was reduced to 50 m (164 feet), and residents suffered breathing difficulties. 

The storm began at around 08:50 UTC (16:50 LT). A local who witnessed the severe weather described it as "the worst one in years". 

Footage shows the sandstorm covering the city, turning skies orange, and blocking out the Sun with dust.

Another video filmed by a motorist shows his view being entirely obstructed by sand, with nothing visible in sight anymore.

"I was walking down the street, [then] the sandstorm suddenly came," she said. "It came really fast-- the winds were really strong and the visibility was extremely low."

'I felt like I couldn't see anything. I felt like this sandstorm is the worst one I have seen in years," she added.

Authorities had issued a red warning on Sunday, which was the highest level for sandstorms. Citizens were also advised to take safety precautions. 

Hotan is vulnerable to such sandstorms due to its geographical location-- the city is bordering Taklimakan Desert, China's largest desert.

Featured image credit: South China Morning Post/YouTube

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